COVID-19: vaccine injections for toddlers will be able to start in United States

Twenty million children under the age of five are potentially affected by this authorization which concerns the two vaccines with messenger RNA.

Le Monde with AFP

After having authorized them urgently the day before, the American health authorities recommended on Saturday 18 June the vaccines against the COVVI-19 of Pfizer and Moderna for toddlers, the United States thus becoming the first country to return The injections of these two possible messenger RNA vaccines from the age of 6 months.

This news was immediately praised by President Joe Biden as “a monumental step in the fight against the virus”. “These vaccines are safe and very effective, and will give parents the tranquility of mind to know that their child is protected against the most serious cases of Covid-19,” he added in a press release.

Friday, the American Medicines Agency (FDA) had already authorized them in an emergency for these young children – who could not so far be vaccinated before five years. But the prevention and combat centers (CDC), the main health agency in the country, still had to recommend them so that injections could start, which is now done. “We know that millions of parents (…) want to have their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” said in a statement Rochelle Walensky, CDC director.

The US government has provided states for several million of these infant doses, and had already started to send them to the four corners of the country from the authorization of the FDA rendered. Joe Biden promised that parents could start making an appointment next week to make the first bites, and that vaccines would be available in thousands of places, including pharmacies and hospitals.

authorization in Europe for pfizer

Now, the Moderna vaccine, in two doses administered a month apart, is available for children between six months and five years to a reduced dosage of 25 micrograms (compared to 50 micrograms for 6-11 year olds, and 100 for 12-17 year olds, like adults).

The Pfizer-Biontech vaccine is authorized between six months and four years at the rate of 3 micrograms per bite, one tenth of the dosage used for adults. Main difference: it will have to be done immediately in three doses – the first two to three weeks apart, the third administered eight weeks after the second. Children receiving it will therefore not be optimally protected for several months.

But its side effects seemed, during clinical trials, be less strong than after the Moderna vaccine. About a quarter of young children who received Moderna developed fever, especially after the second dose. But it was generally falling after a day.

The United States has about twenty million children under the age of five. Even if the youngest are less vulnerable to the COVVI-19, some 480 children in this age group are still died in the country. They can also develop a long covid, or serious cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Pfizer said it wanted to file a “authorization for this European Medicines Agency (EMA).

/Media reports.