US panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for younger children
Published: 01:51 PM, 27 October 2021 Updated: 05:53 PM, 27 October 2021
A medical panel of US government advisors endorsed Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 11, paving the way for younger children to get their shots within weeks.
Meanwhile, the expert teams of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also backed the move on Tuesday, after a day of presentations and debate, the final vote was 17 in favor and one abstention.
The FDA said in September that its trial data showed the Covid jab was “safe for children” aged 5 to 11.
The FDA’s expert panel determined the benefits of having the jab outweigh any other health risks.
The United States is already giving vaccines to those aged 12 and over. With the latest decision, about 28 million US children will be vaccinated within weeks, however, full approval is still awaiting from FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
BBC reports that regulators say that there is a risk of side effects such as “heart inflammation” due to the use of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
However, an analysis by Pfizer posted by the FDA before the meeting showed the vaccine was “90.7 percent effective” at preventing symptomatic Covid-19, reports AFP.
Noted that official data from the US shows 160 children aged 5 to 11 have died of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. In total, the country has recorded close to 740,000 deaths from the virus.
But millions have contracted the virus, thousands of whom ended up in hospital. The US has also reported more than 5,000 cases of a rare inflammatory disease linked to Covid infections, which has killed 46 children.
The United States has so far vaccinated 57 percent of the total population.
Source: BBC, AFP.