COVID-19 vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11 could be ready as soon as next week | Business – Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona 2021-10-27 09:45:00 –

Washington — The next wave of a major COVID-19 vaccination campaign could begin shortly next week after federal regulators decide whether elementary school students across the United States should start rolling small sleeves.

The multi-step approval process begins on Tuesday. On Tuesday, a panel of Food and Drug Administration vaccine experts will vote on whether the benefits of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks of children aged 5 to 11 years.

If the Panel and FDA Chief Executive Officer give an emergency permit to immunize that age group, the next step is at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC Panel will meet on November 2nd and 3rd to create additional guidance on how to use shots.

For parents with children of that age group, it may mean an appointment for vaccination for the child as soon as November 4th. The Biden administration said there were 15 million doses ready to ship as soon as the FDA gave a green light.

Recognizing that it can be difficult for parents to decide whether to get the vaccine, the government is also careful to connect parents with a trusted provider such as a pediatrician. “These are our babies, and when they are their age and size, they still feel like babies,” said Amy Winpei Knight, president of the Children’s Hospital Association.

Still, FDA-approved timing — postponed after pediatric vaccine trials Enhanced to collect more data — Reassuring to the millions of parents who have navigated the school quarantine and masking rule gauntlets.

It also happens when the family is planning a holiday gathering indoors. This may offer ideal conditions for spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccination of 28 million US children between the ages of 5 and 11 may be important in preventing further outbreaks of infectious diseases this winter.

So far, teen vaccination rates vary significantly from state to state. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics.. In 12 states, including Maryland, New Mexico, Virginia, and New Jersey, more than two-thirds of children aged 12 to 17 receive at least one dose. In 18 states, including Iowa, Michigan, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Louisiana, and Tennessee, less than 50% received a single dose.

In Arizona, 54% of teenagers are vaccinated.

However, vaccine options for children are enthusiastically expected not only by parents, but also by pediatricians and school officials who have already vaccinated children aged 12 to 15 years who qualified in May. increase.

“The more people you get vaccinated, the less risk you have,” said Dan Domenech, managing director of the American School Administrators Association and former director of Fairfax County Public School, Virginia. I am.

Low risk children

From the early days of the pandemic, it is clear that children are at a much lower risk of developing more severe illness and dying from COVID-19 infection than adults.

While 6.3 million COVID-19 cases in children since the outbreak of the pandemic accounted for 16% of all infectious diseases in the United States, 558 deaths in children in the United States were due to the virus in all Americans. Equivalent to less than 0.1% of deaths. Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics..

However, as the number of Delta variants surged, the number of children infected increased. Over 1.1 million children have been added in the last 6 weeks, weekly infections in that age group peaked in early September, and 131,000 were added last week.

Children are less likely to face serious complications, but they can spread the virus to others. Vaccines that provide better protection against infection are useful not only for children, but also for vulnerable adults who are in contact with younger groups.

Data from Pfizer Analysis by FDA Regulators It shows that the company’s vaccine provides strong protection. The two-shot regime was shown to be 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in clinical trials in children aged 5 to 11 years.

The study included 2,285 children and was vaccinated twice as much as placebo. The dose for the younger age group is much lower, 10 micrograms for children compared to 30 micrograms for adults.

Study participants experienced mild side effects with headache, malaise, and myalgia, among the most commonly reported symptoms.

One of the risks discussed at the FDA meeting on Tuesday is the possibility of developing myocarditis. This is a rare condition with myocardial inflammation associated with the Pfizer and Modana vaccines in older boys and younger men. The FDA’s analysis evaluated its rare inflammation potential for several scenarios to compare the number of vaccine-prevented COVID-19 hospitalizations with the number of potential myocarditis cases. bottom.

“Overall analysis predicted that the number of clinically significant COVID-19-related outcomes prevented was clearly higher than the number of cases of vaccine-related excess myocarditis.” Agency regulators wrote..

Stockpile of shots heading to the state

The process of vaccination of a younger cohort of children is similar and different to deploying shots to adults and teens.

The Pfizer vaccine for children is distributed in different vials than the adult version, so as with the initial deployment, there is a stockpile of doses ready for distribution to the state.

These doses go to many of the same places where elderly people are vaccinated, such as pharmacies, community health centers, local clinics, pediatrician clinics, and children’s hospitals.

However, the percentage of dose that goes to each of these sites is different. Government and child health professionals have emphasized that parents want to be able to talk to trusted healthcare providers and may seek shots from pediatricians they know and know their children. there is.

Knight of the Children’s Hospital Association added that teenage vaccination demonstrates the importance of “conducting trusted people in the community and having conversations with them.”

Unlike the initial deployment of adult vaccines, which were slow to launch because manufacturers competed to produce sufficient doses, supply bottlenecks are unlikely to be an issue.

Federal authorities have also worked with Pfizer to fine-tune the packaging to address the frequent concerns that large cargoes contain too much dose for some rural areas and small providers. By preparing a package of 10 vials for 10 doses each, waste is reduced.

However, one of the potential challenges for healthcare providers as a whole can be staffing.

Pharmacies and clinics that provide vaccines across age groups not only inoculate adults who still need the first dose, but also provide boosters to those at the forefront and children of new age groups. I am.

At the same time, children’s hospitals were overwhelmed by the proliferation of patients with COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses due to the end of mask and assembly restrictions.

Some school districts will host vaccine clinics just like teens. Domenech said he didn’t know the data to track the number of school districts hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics, but estimated that “healthy numbers” did and are likely to do so again. ..

Shots for children under 5 years old

If federal regulators give urgent approval for Pfizer’s vaccine for children, parents have one option to weigh.

But in time, they will be able to choose between vaccines: Moderna Results announced on Monday The trial of children aged 6 to 11 will soon seek FDA approval.

Pfizer will also soon release data on exams for children aged 2 to 5 years, with results for children aged 6 months to 2 years expected to follow early next year.

Arizona Mirror Is part of the States Newsroom, a network of news stations supported by grants and a 501c (3) coalition of donors as a public charity. Arizona Mirror maintains editing independence. If you have any questions, please contact the editor Jim Small. info@azmirror.com..Follow Arizona Mirror Facebook When twitter..

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