US clears Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children below 5text_fields
Washington: The United States US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved administering Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for children aged five and below. President Joe Biden called the move on Saturday a "monumental step" in the battle against Covid-19, Agence France-Presse reported.
This will benefit nearly 20 million eligible children in the country.
Thus the country became the first to approve mRNA vaccines for the mentioned age group, which includes children as young as six months. Earlier, children had to be at least five years old to get the vaccine.
When the proposal got clearance from US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved it on Saturday.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky acknowledged that millions of parents and caregivers were eager to get the proposal cleared, and children of the mentioned age group also will be vaccinated.
President Bidens said that parents could take appointments from next week for the jab. Biden in a statement on Saturday, informed assured that the vaccines are safe and effective. His administration had started distributing vaccine doses once they got clearance from FDA.
Moderna vaccine will be administered to the new age group in reduced doses of 25 micrograms. This is half the dose jabbed on 6 to 11 agers, while a quarter of the dose for 12 and older. But Pfizer-BioNTech dose will be three micrograms, which is one-tenth of the dose jabbed on adults.
The new age group will receive three shots of Pfizer-BioNTech in which the first two will be jabbed three weeks apart, and the third will be eight weeks after the second.
While Pfizer-BioNTech showed less serious side effects on children during trials, Moderna caused fever in a quarter of the age group. However, the fever did not last more than a day.
Though children are generally immune to Covid-19, 480 died of the disease in the US.