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    HomeTechWhen can babies and young children get the COVID vaccine? What to...

    When can babies and young children get the COVID vaccine? What to know about the FDA timeline and more

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    The FDA may give approval for a COVID-19 vaccine for youngsters below 5 as quickly as late February.


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    For probably the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO and CDC web sites.

    Pfizer and BioNTech submitted knowledge to US Meals and Drug Administration for authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years old on Tuesday. Whereas the vaccine for youngsters below age 5 is anticipated to be a three-dose vaccine collection (it is one-Tenth the scale of Pfizer’s vaccine for folks 12 and up), the FDA requested the businesses to submit knowledge on the primary two doses as a part of a “rolling submission” course of. 

    “Having a protected and efficient vaccine obtainable for youngsters on this age group is a precedence for the company and we’re dedicated to a well timed evaluate of the information, which the company requested Pfizer to submit in gentle of the current omicron surge,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, FDA commissioner, stated in an announcement Tuesday. “Moreover, kids aren’t small adults. As a result of they’re nonetheless rising and growing, it’s vital that these vaccines are evaluated in well-designed and well-conducted medical trials.”

    In December, Pfizer introduced that whereas two doses of the vaccine have been efficient in kids 6 months to 2 years, two pictures failed to advertise a powerful sufficient immune response in kids ages 2 by means of 4 years. This prompted the corporate to begin testing a three-dose model of the vaccine for youngsters below age 5. Within the coming months, that knowledge can even be submitted to the FDA for authorization, and is anticipated to finish the vaccine collection. 

    Children as younger as 5 have been capable of be vaccinated towards COVID-19 since October — as of Dec. 19, more than 8.7 million vaccine doses have gone out to youngsters 5 to 11. And kids as young as 12 are eligible for booster pictures, after they have been really helpful by the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention in January. Because the COVID-19 panorama continues to evolve, here is what we find out about COVID-19 vaccines for youths and youths. Plus, study the possibility of a fourth booster shothow to find an at-home COVID-19 test and the potential of a vaccine that works against all coronavirus variants

    When can infants and kids below 5 get the vaccine?

    Now that Pfizer has submitted knowledge to the FDA, a gathering of consultants that gathers to debate security and effectiveness knowledge and vote on whether or not or not the FDA ought to authorize a vaccine is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 15 (the assembly is open to the general public and you’ll tune in here or on the company’s Youtube channel). 

    If the FDA does authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for youngsters as younger as 6 months previous, the CDC usually goes by means of the identical course of: An outdoor panel of well being consultants will talk about the advantages and dangers of recommending the vaccine to kids below 5 years previous. In the event that they vote to suggest Pfizer’s vaccine for the youthful age group, the CDC’s director will probably settle for the panel’s choice and the small doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for youths will turn out to be obtainable in pediatricians’ places of work or different clinics. 

    The CDC is anticipated to maneuver shortly, assuming the FDA does authorize the primary two doses of the anticipated three-dose vaccine collection. If analysis finds a 3rd dose is important for youngsters below 5, it will likely be approved and obtainable after kids have already began the vaccine collection. 

    As The New York Times reported, the FDA asking an organization to submit its knowledge for authorization is an uncommon transfer, and displays mounting considerations in regards to the excessive variety of COVID-19 instances introduced on by the omicron variant. 

    How is Pfizer’s youngster vaccine for infants and younger youngsters totally different?

    Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for youngsters 6 months by means of 4 years is available in two doses which are one-Tenth the scale of the vaccine for folks age 12 and up. A 3rd 3-microgram dose is being researched proper now and could also be approved within the close to future.

    The vaccine for youths 5 to 11 is one-third the dose given to everybody 12 and up, and it is delivered in two doses. Pfizer’s vaccine for youths can be saved for up to 10 weeks in a fridge, making it simpler to manage, and the cap on the vial is orange instead of purple and gray to keep away from mix-ups. 

    And if it helps to place your youngsters comfy, the needle used to manage the kid’s dose of vaccine can be smaller. 

    For extra details about Pfizer’s vaccine for youngsters age 5 to 11, check out this fact sheet by the FDA

    Can my youngster get a COVID booster?

    Kids as younger as 12 can get now get a 3rd dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, given at the very least 5 months after their second shot.

    Most children youthful than 12 cannot get a booster, though the CDC recommends a 3rd dose of the Pfizer vaccine for youngsters 5 and up who’re immunocompromised. They’re eligible for a booster 28 days after their second dose.  

    The place can my child get a booster shot?

    Since solely Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is at the moment authorised for anybody below 18, it is typically solely obtainable in physician’s places of work and public well being clinics, not pharmacies and different mass vaccination websites.

    Name your pediatrician or native well being clinic for a advice on the place to go. Mother and father might also text their ZIP code to 438829 or use this vaccine finder link to discover a clinic close to them that has the kid vaccine obtainable. 

    Do youngsters really want a COVID-19 vaccine? 

    Based on a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids made up 22.8% of reported COVID-19 instances for the week ending Jan. 27 this yr. (The AAP says the definition of “youngster” varies by the states reporting.) For a similar interval, youngster COVID-19 instances have been “triple the height stage” throughout the delta surge in 2021, the AAP reported.

    Whereas it is true kids are a lot much less prone to get severely sick from the virus than adults, some kids have died or been hospitalized with the virus. An an infection, even a light case, requires quarantining and doubtlessly sending classmates out of the classroom and again to distant studying. And youngsters can expertise harmful complications from COVID-19, together with long COVID and MIS-C

    There are additionally racial disparities within the severity of how sick kids get from COVID-19: Children ages 5 to 11 who’re Black, Native American or Hispanic are 3 times extra prone to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than white kids, in line with an FDA advisory panel presentation. Of that group, about one in three would require admission to the ICU.

    Are booster pictures protected for youngsters?

    In a statement following its authorization of booster doses for youths 12 to fifteen, the FDA stated it reviewed real-world knowledge from greater than 6,300 kids in Israel, ages 12 to fifteen, who obtained a booster shot at the very least 5 months after their second dose of Pfizer.

    No extra security considerations have been reported to this point in these people, in line with the FDA. 

    “These extra knowledge enabled the FDA to reassess the advantages and dangers of the usage of a booster within the youthful adolescent inhabitants within the setting of the present surge in COVID-19 instances,” the company stated. “The information exhibits there aren’t any new security considerations following a booster on this inhabitants.”

    What unintended effects can youngsters get from a COVID-19 vaccine or booster? 

    Vaccine unintended effects in youngsters ages 5 to 11 are principally gentle and much like these adults could expertise, according to the CDC, together with soreness on the injection web site, fever, muscle soreness, nausea and fatigue. In a Dec. 13 report from the company, the CDC reviewed reports from safety monitoring systems on greater than 8 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine given to youngsters ages 5 to 11, confirming that kids’s immune programs reply nicely to the vaccine with frequent gentle unintended effects, and that severe opposed occasions are not often reported. 

    Irritation of the guts muscle, referred to as myocarditis, and of the muscle’s outer lining, known as pericarditis, are rare and typically mild side effects linked to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, principally in adolescent males and younger males ages 12 to 29. (Myocarditis also can happen after an infection with COVID-19.)

    In a single examine, the CDC said that 54 recipients out of one million males ages 12 to 17 skilled myocarditis following the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine. In distinction, youngsters ages 5 to 11 who catch COVID-19 have a better threat of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, a doubtlessly severe complication involving irritation of the guts, lungs, kidneys, mind, pores and skin, eyes or different organs. 

    “The underside line is that getting COVID is way riskier to the guts than something on this vaccine, it doesn’t matter what age or intercourse you might be,” Dr. Matthew Oster, a pediatric heart specialist at Kids’s Healthcare of Atlanta, informed the CDC in November, ABC News reported.

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    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Do I would like to present consent for my younger youngster to get vaccinated? 

    Sure, mother and father typically have to consent to their kids receiving medical care, together with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. That is very true for youthful kids. 

    Nevertheless, depending on which state you live in, there could also be a authorized precedent for teenagers and different youngsters to request the vaccine with out your permission: Tennessee’s vaccine director, Michelle Fiscus, was fired in August allegedly partly for sending out a memo detailing Tennessee’s “mature minor doctrine,” which explains how minors could search medical care with out the consent of their mother and father. 

    If my youngster has a severe well being situation, can they get a 3rd shot? 

    The CDC really helpful a 3rd dose for youngsters as younger as 5 who’re “reasonably to severely” immunocompromised, 28 days after their second shot. This steerage for immunocompromised kids (together with youngsters who’ve had an organ transplant or are taking medicines that suppress the immune system) is in line with guidance for adults whose our bodies do not mount a great immune response to the COVID-19 vaccines.

    My youngster has allergy symptoms. Can they get the vaccine?

    Sure, although you may be requested to stay across the ready room so well being care suppliers can monitor them for (extremely rare) allergic reactions that may happen after any vaccination. 

    “If the kid has a historical past of anaphylaxis or different extreme allergy symptoms, then the remark time after the injection could also be half-hour as a substitute of 15,” stated Dr. Anne Liu, an infectious illness specialist with Stanford Hospital and Clinics and the Lucile Packard Kids’s Hospital. Kids who’ve been prescribed an EpiPen for any purpose ought to deliver it to their vaccine appointment, Liu added. 

    As with adults, kids with an allergy to an ingredient in Pfizer’s COVID-19 should not take it. You will discover a listing of components in Pfizer’s vaccine for youths ages 5 to 11 on the FDA’s fact sheet

    Can my youngster get the COVID-19 shot similtaneously different vaccines?

    According to the CDC, your youngster could get different vaccines once they go in for his or her COVID shot with out ready 14 days between appointments. Flu shots will be given to kids ages 6 months and older.

    The data contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as well being or medical recommendation. At all times seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you’ll have a couple of medical situation or well being aims.

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