Covid-19: the United States will start vaccinating 5-11 year olds this week

The campaign will be able to start. US health authorities affixed the last stamp, Tuesday, November 2, to Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds. Twenty-eight million young children are now eligible for vaccination.

A few days after being cleared by the US Medicines Agency (FDA), the vaccine was recommended on Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the final step required to launch this new phase of the vaccination campaign. US President Joe Biden hailed “A turning point” in the fight against Covid-19. “This will allow parents to put an end to months of worrying about their children, and reduce the rate at which children pass the virus to others”, he welcomed in a press release.

The U.S. Medicines Agency (FDA) last week cleared the vaccine for this age group, but because it is distributed through public services, the CDC is also required to recommend it.

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“We know that millions of parents want to immunize their children”CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement, calling the announcement “New important step” in the fight against Covid-19. “As a mother, I encourage parents with questions to discuss” with healthcare professionals to “Learn more about the importance of vaccination”, she added.

The first injections can in theory begin as early as Tuesday evening. The vaccine will always be given twice, three weeks apart. The dosage has been adjusted to 10 micrograms per injection, compared to 30 micrograms for the older groups.

The government has largely anticipated the decision, procuring enough doses, and starting to ship them across the country. Since FDA clearance, “There was not a moment when the teams did not collect, pack, and send vaccines”White House pandemic coordinator Jeff Zients said Monday. “We are planning vaccinations towards the end of the week, but the campaign (…) will reach full capacity the week of November 8 ”, he had specified.

A hundred children died of Covid-19 in the United States

The CDC convened a committee of independent scientists on Tuesday to review, during a day of live-streamed discussions, available data regarding the status of the epidemic in children, the effectiveness of Pfizer’s vaccine, and its results. possible side effects.

The main concern was the risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, detected in adolescents and young adults (especially males) after vaccination with Pfizer or Moderna.

Health authorities have confirmed nearly 880 cases in those under 30 (more than 600 remain to be assessed), of which about 830 required hospitalization. Nine deaths were suspected to be related to myocarditis after the vaccine. But out of six cases so far examined, vaccine-related myocarditis was ultimately not identified. “As the cause of death”Pediatric cardiologist Dr Matthew Oster said in a presentation. “The risk of having a heart problem is much higher if you catch the Covid than if you take this vaccine”, he added.

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Among 5 to 11 year olds, more than 1.9 million cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the United States, causing more than 8,300 hospitalizations, more than 2,300 cases of MIS-C (pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome) , and a hundred deaths.

The expected benefits of immunizing children also include fewer class closures, and a possible reduction in the transmission of the epidemic to the general population. “If I had a grandson, I would definitely get him vaccinatedsaid Beth Bell, infectious disease specialist and committee member. We have excellent evidence of efficacy and safety. We have a favorable benefit-risk analysis. “

The World with AFP

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Covid-19: the United States will start vaccinating 5-11 year olds this week