Pfizer Covid vaccine effective for kids under 5: US FDA

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Washington– The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that kid-sized doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine appear to be safe and effective for children under 5-years-old.

The analysis by FDA scientists was posted online ahead of a meeting scheduled on Wednesday for the agency’s independent experts, who will consider applications from both Pfizer and Moderna on vaccinating the nation’s youngest children, reports Xinhua news agency.

Children under 5-years-old are the only group not yet eligible for Covid-19 vaccination in the US.

In its analysis of Pfizer’s data, the FDA said that rates of hospitalization and death due to Covid-19 among children under five were higher than among those aged five to 17, “underscoring the benefit of an effective Covid vaccine in this age group”.

The FDA also noted that among children aged five and older, who are already eligible for Pfizer’s vaccine, the shots have helped prevent hospitalisation and other serious outcomes, including during the current year, when the highly contagious Omicron variant and its rapidly evolving sub-variants became the dominant forms of the virus.

The FDA’s announcement comes as some 88,000 child Covid-19 cases were reported across the US in the week ending June 9, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association said in a report on Monday.

Over 13.5 million children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, and nearly 395,000 of these cases have been added in the past four weeks.

About 5.6 million child Covid-19 cases have been added in 2022, said the report.

Child cases are far higher than the same time around mid-June one year ago. (IANS)

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