US health officials have announced that children 5-11 years old can now receive the Pfizer BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine. This approval came yesterday after both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centre for Disease Control gave their authorisation. This approval qualifies around 28 million American children to now receive the Covid vaccine.
President Joe Biden expressed his approval in a statement released from the White House.
“Today, we have reached a turning point in our battle against Covid-19…(vaccinating children will) allow parents to end months of anxious worrying about their kids, and reduce the extent to which children spread the virus to others. It is a major step forward for our nation in our fight to defeat the virus. The program will ramp up over the coming days, and (be) fully up and running during the week of November 8.”
The US government had already ordered enough vaccines to be produced for every child in the country, Biden added. Two doses will be administered, with the second injection coming 3 weeks after the first. The only differences are that the sizing of the doses will be reduced from 30 micrograms to 10 micrograms, and the caps on the vials will be orange, to make them easily identifiable.
Centre for Disease Control (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky said that the centre convened a panel of scientists to study all of the available data on the Covid vaccine’s effect on children. After reviewing, the panel unanimously approved the vaccine for this age group. Walensky is now encouraging parents to look into vaccinating their kids.
“As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”
Health authorities have reported that the main risk to children getting the vaccine would be myocarditis, which is inflammation in the heart muscles. But pediatric cardiologist Dr. Matthew Olster said that he would be much more worried about a child contracting Covid-19 than a child getting the vaccine. According to a CDC survey, when 1,000 parents were asked about if they would vaccinate their children, 57% said either “definitely” or “probably.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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