After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave its approval on Wednesday, kids as young as 5 can now contract the updated Covid booster shots that attacks the omicron version of the coronavirus.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, gave her approval just hours after the Food and Drug Administration issued an authorized the updated shots.
The updated vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 has FDA approval. The Modernas injection was okay for children ages 6 to 17.
The FDA stated in a statement that as long as two months have passed since the last dose, children who have received the primary two-dose series of any vaccination and those who have received boosters are eligible to get the updated boosters.
Both vaccines provide protection against the original coronavirus strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants in a single shot. About 79% of all new Covid cases in the U.S. are caused by the predominant strain BA.5, according to the CDC.
The FDA approved the use of both Moderna’s and Pfizers’ new vaccines for adults over the age of 18 in late August. The shots took the place of the initial boosters, which were made to combat the coronavirus’s primary strain.
Even though rates have increased, the United States still has a low rate of young children receiving the two-dose primary series vaccines. Only 31% of kids aged 5 to 11 have received the recommended two doses of Covid vaccination according to CDC data.
Similar to the older age groups, the deployment of the upgraded boosters has gotten off to a poor start, with only 11.5 million eligible persons receiving one, CDC data shows.
Sean O’Leary, vice chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on infectious diseases, explained that “pandemic fatigue and people wanting to move on” were to blame for the poor vaccination rate among children and adults.
Sadly, he added, “We’re still seeing kids get sick with this.”
Covid is increasingly being diagnosed in children under the age of 18. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there were over 40,700 child Covid cases recorded in the week ending October 6, a little increase from the week before.
Due to the possibility of a new wave of Covid illnesses this winter, experts advise that individuals receive the latest vaccinations.
According to research, any Covid vaccination significantly reduces the chance of serious outcomes from the virus, making booster shots crucial, according to OLeary.
He asserted that hospitalizations are avoidable.
report published this month by the Commonwealth Fund discovered that around 90,000 deaths and more than 936,000 hospitalizations may be avoided if 80% of Americans received Covid booster doses by the end of this year.