37.1 C
New Delhi
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
HomeNewsCOVID: US begins vaccine drive for 6 months-5 yrs; Biden says a...

COVID: US begins vaccine drive for 6 months-5 yrs; Biden says a monumental step


This comes after The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5, opening the door to vaccinating millions of the country’s youngest children.

President Joe Biden in a video address said that it is a monumental step forward and now every American can have access to life saving vaccines. 

“It a monumental step forward, the United States is now the first country in the world to offer safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months old,” he said.

“In the first time in our fight against this pandemic, nearly every American can now have access to life saving vaccines,” he added.

In a tweet, the US President wrote, “Since I took office, we’ve been committed to making sure every parent has the opportunity to protect their children from COVID-19. Starting this week, you can go to http://vaccines.gov and find information and appointments near you.”

The United States has begun distributing COVID vaccines for children as young as six months around the country, and availability of the shots will improve in the coming days, according to White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha.

Two brands — Pfizer and Moderna — got the green light Friday from the FDA and Saturday from the CDC. The vaccines use the same technology but are being offered at different dose sizes and number of shots for the youngest kids.

Pfizer’s vaccine is for children 6 months to 4 years old. The dose is one-tenth of the adult dose, and three shots are needed. The first two are given three weeks apart, and the last at least two months later.

Moderna’s is two shots, each a quarter of its adult dose, given about four weeks apart for kids 6 months through 5 years old. The FDA also approved a third dose, at least a month after the second shot, for children with immune conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious illness.

In studies, vaccinated youngsters developed levels of virus-fighting antibodies as strong as young adults, suggesting that the kid-size doses protect against coronavirus infections.

However, exactly how well they work is hard to pin down, especially when it comes to the Pfizer vaccine

While many parents in the United States are eager to vaccinate their children, it is unclear how strong demand will be for the shots. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized for children aged 5 to 11 in October, but only about 29% of that group is fully vaccinated so far, federal data shows.

COVID-19 is generally milder in children. Still, since March 2020 it has been the fifth leading cause of deaths in children aged 1-4 and the fourth leading cause of death in children younger than 1, according to the CDC.

The shots offer young children protection from hospitalization, death and possible long-term complications that are still not clearly understood, the CDC’s advisory panel had said.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has also started shipping monkeypox tests to commercial laboratories, in a bid to speed diagnoses for suspected infections for the virus that has already infected at least 142 people in the US.

The CDC is sending tests to labs, including Aegis Science, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and Sonic Healthcare, which it said would significant expand the nation’s health system’s capacity to test for monkeypox. 

Previously, testing has largely been confined to public health labs, which combined have a capacity of about 8,000 tests per week.

“All Americans should be concerned about monkeypox cases,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement. “Thankfully we have right now the tools to fight and treat cases in America. By dramatically expanding the number of testing locations throughout the country, we are making it possible for anyone who needs to be tested to do so.”

The disease first causes flu-like symptoms before progressing to a rash on the face and body and is commonly found in parts of central and west Africa. But this year, 1,880 infections have been reported in more than 30 countries where monkeypox isn’t typically found.

Most of those cases have been found in Europe. As of June 21, the CDC has confirmed 142 monkeypox infections in the U.S.

Monkeypox comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox. Most people recover from monkeypox within weeks, but the disease is fatal for up to 1 in 10 people, according to the World Health Organization.

(With inputs from Agencies)

 

 

 



Source link

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -

Our Archieves

- Advertisment -