The United States has become the latest country after China, Chile, Cuba and the United Arab Emirates to decide to inoculate children agains tthe Covid-19 virus. The cecision to approve the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for children aged 5-11 was taken after reports and data submitted to the FDA appeared to show that the benefits of inoculation far outweighed the risks of heart issues which and been a concern for the manufacturer and public.
A study was conducted on 2000 participants which led to Pfizer publishing data that showed it was 90% effective in protecting against the coronavirus. Serious side effects were rare or were not detected. An additional study in 3000 child participants was also conducted which showed no adverse reactions.
"As a mother and a physician, I know that parents, caregivers, school staff, and children have been waiting for today's authorization," said acting Food and Drug Administration chief Janet Woodcock in a statement. "Vaccinating younger children against COVID-19 will bring us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy." The FDA will continue to convene to address systems of implementation of the vaccination and discuss whether a mandate should be required.
The observed side effects in a handful of teenage and adult recipients of the vaccine include myocarditis and pericarditis (heart inflammation and inflammation around the heart) have been linked to male patients that received the second dose. The side effects are exceeedingly rare in order of few dozens per million. Most of the cases have fully resolved.The US has so far vaccinated around 58% of its population although cases remain high in northern states due to lagging vaccination rates.