Covid19: US experts recommend vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna for babies

Covid19: US experts recommend vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna for babies

A panel of experts from the United States decided on Wednesday (15th) to give children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years Covid19 vaccines from the laboratories of Pfizer and Moderna, a crucial first step towards their approval. .

During live webcast discussions, members of this advisory panel reviewed available clinical study data conducted by Pfizer on children ages 6 months to 4 years and by Moderna on children ages 6 months to 5 years.

As in many countries, this is the last age group not to have access to this protection.

In two votes, the 21 experts agreed that the benefits of vaccination in this age group outweigh the risks.

Based on these positive opinions, the FDA (American Medicines Agency), whose decisions are considered a reference at international level, could grant its approval.

Then about 10 million doses would be immediately shipped to different regions of the country, which would be followed by millions more in the coming weeks, the US government said.

Vaccination can begin the week of June 20 once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives the goahead. CDC experts meet on Friday (17th) and Saturday (18th)

adjusted doses

The dose has been adjusted: a quarter of the adult dose for Moderna (25 micrograms instead of 100) and a tenth for Pfizer (3 micrograms instead of 30).

The main difference between the two products is the number of injections required for optimal protection: Moderna’s vaccine is still given in two doses a month apart; Pfizer by three, due to the low dose chosen to reduce side effects in babies such as fever. However, a company representative clarified that studies are being conducted with a third booster dose.

At Pfizer, immunization is carried out in three applications: the first two three weeks apart and the third eight weeks after the second.

Several experts emphasized that children with two doses of Pfizer are not well protected and will have to wait for the third months until then.

The vaccines are both safe and effective, according to the FDA, which released its own analysis of clinical trials last week to provide a basis for expert discussion.

According to a preliminary estimate, PfizerBioNTech’s vaccine is 80% effective against symptomatic forms of the disease. However, that rate is based on a small number of positive cases, the FDA said.

Moderna’s has been shown to be 51% effective in babies aged 6 months to less than 2 years and 37% effective in children aged 2 to 5 years.

The numbers are consistent with the efficacy observed in adults against the Ômicron variant, according to the US agency. However, the vaccine continues to provide good protection against severe forms of Covid19.

impatience and skepticism

As for side effects, a quarter of the kids who received the Moderna dose experienced a fever, especially after the second dose. The fever passed after a day.

In Pfizer’s case, the observed fever was similar in vaccinated and placebo recipients.

Some parents want their young children to be vaccinated, others are still skeptical.

According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation in early May, only one in five parents of a child under the age of 5 (18%) said they would get vaccinated as soon as possible; 38% will wait and the rest oppose it unless it is mandatory.

Although younger people are less susceptible to Covid19 and are at low risk, about 480 children under the age of 4 have died from the disease in the United States.

For this age group, too, the hospitalization rates increased significantly during the contamination wave of the Ômicron variant. In total, 45,000 children under the age of 5 have been hospitalized in the United States since the pandemic began, with a quarter of them in intensive care.

Children are less susceptible to Covid19, but they can catch it and transmit the disease. Like adults, they can suffer from longterm symptoms (longterm Covid). In rare cases, severe pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome may also develop.