The Biden administration is readying vaccine doses and working to set up vaccination clinics for children ages 5 to 11, in anticipation of FDA approval of a COVID-19 shot for that age group, according to Reuters.
Under review: “Food and Drug Administration officials are reviewing the Pfizer/BioNTech application seeking approval of its 2-dose vaccine for younger children, with its panel of outside advisers scheduled to weigh in on Oct. 26. The FDA typically follows the advice of its panel but is not required to do so.”
- The administration is planning for a swift, equitable and convenient distribution of the vaccine for children nationwide, the White House said.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisers will meet Nov. 2 and 3 to discuss recommendations on the vaccine for younger kids.
Why it matters: “Once approved, roughly 28 million more children in the United States would be eligible to receive what would be the first U.S.-approved vaccine to ward off the novel coronavirus in younger kids. The Pfizer/BioNTech shot is already approved for those ages 12–17, and the companies are still studying it for those younger than 5.”
- While children have lower death rates from COVID-19 than adults, they can become ill, and the long-term effects of the disease on youngsters is still unknown.
In related news: As expected, the FDA yesterday authorized booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, as well as a “mix and match” approach to vaccine boosters, according to CNN. This means the agency will allow any of the three authorized COVID-19 vaccinations to be used as boosters for previously vaccinated individuals.