Children Eligible for mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination in the U.S.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., announced her endorsement of the new recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine.
Dr. Walensky’s endorsement expands COVID-19 vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the U.S.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19", commented Dr. Walensky in a press statement.
“We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated, and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine.”
The CDC says COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, MIS-C (inflammatory syndromes), and long-term complications, such as “long COVID,” in which symptoms can linger for months.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the CDC has confirmed as of October 27, 2021; there have been 558 deaths attributed to COVID-19 (vaccination and comorbidity status undisclosed) in people under 18.
Additionally, the CDC reported 143 non-adult deaths in the U.S. involving both COVID-19 and pneumonia.
The CDC says vaccination, along with other preventative measures, can protect children from COVID-19 using the safe and effective vaccines already recommended for use in adolescents and adults in the U.S.
In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, similar to those seen in adults, and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.
COVID-19 vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.
In Europe, the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee confirmed on October 29, 2021, it is assessing further data providing information on the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines, including the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine.
Myocarditis and pericarditis are inflammatory conditions of the heart. Symptoms can vary but often include breathlessness, a forceful heartbeat that may be irregular (palpitations), and chest pain.
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be available at pediatric healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, and Federally Qualified Health Centers beginning in November 2021.
BioNTech S.E. and Pfizer, Inc. co-developed the BNT162b2 vaccine to prevent severe COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 betacoronavirus. The vaccine is based on BioNTech proprietary messenger RNA technology.
The Comirnaty vaccine was issued the first U.S. FDA Emergency Use Authorization to prevent severe COVID-19 in people 16 years of age and older on December 11, 2020.
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