The Cdc Has Yet to Approve Covid Injections for Young Children, but It Expects Delivery by Feb. 21 |Latest Update
The CDC hasn’t officially approved Covid-19 vaccinations for children under 5, but it’s informing state and local health officials they might get them by Feb. 21.
The CDC expects to distribute 10 million doses in three phases once the FDA approves the lower-dose 3-microgram Pfizer and BioNTech injection for children 6 months to 4 years old. The CDC said state and local health departments can order vaccines starting Monday and start getting shipments on Presidents Day.
Local officials must decide where and how to deliver the vaccine. The doses can’t be delivered until the CDC approves the vaccine, which is expected later this month.
White House Covid response coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday the government may begin packing and shipping the doses once FDA approval is received. Zients said the US has an adequate vaccine to vaccinate all 18 million children aged 6 months to 4 years. The syringes and other materials are designed for the smallest youngsters, he noted.
As part of a White House Covid update, Zients informed the public that the vaccination is now available in thousands of sites around the country, including pediatricians, family doctors, children’s hospitals, and pharmacies.
The FDA acted quickly to approve the shots as an emergency since the omicron form has increased the number of children hospitalized with Covid.
Pfizer and BioNTech filed their application to the FDA for the first two doses of a three-dose vaccination for children under 5.
Pfizer added a third dose to its clinical trial in December after two shots failed to stimulate an immunological response in youngsters aged 2 to 4. A third dose data submission from Pfizer and BioNTech is expected soon.
The expedited approval of the first two doses will allow parents to obtain their children the first two shots in preparation for the final third dose. Pfizer stated in December that the 3-microgram dose was safe, compared to the 30-microgram shot approved for adults.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla remarked on “The Exchange” on CNBC that the evidence is solid and the FDA will likely approve the first two dosages. The vaccine data will be released Friday with the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee briefing documents. The committee will consider the vaccines for toddlers to 4-year-olds on Feb. 15.
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