St. Louis, Missouri 2021-10-15 15:56:00 –
New York (AP) — US health authorities are preparing a national COVID-19 vaccination campaign for young children, calling on state authorities to order doses before the shots are approved.
Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is currently being given to people up to the age of 12 in the United States. Over the next three weeks, federal officials will discuss making the low-dose version available to 28 million children in the United States between the ages of 5 and 11.
To help states and cities prepare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent this week a seven-page document containing guidance on how to set up an extended vaccination program.
For example, all state pharmacies state that children can be given COVID-19 shots, but for children under the age of 12, use only doses specially prepared and packaged for children. Is clarified.
However, it does not explain the annoying questions such as how much you should trust a school-based clinic and whether your child needs to take a shot as a condition of attending school.
These questions need to be resolved in each state and city.
This guidance is given as the community prepares for a new phase of its 10-month-old effort to vaccinate as many people as possible against the virus that killed more than 720,000 people in the United States. It is done.
The disease is most dangerous for older people, who have higher mortality and hospitalization rates than children. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, some children are at risk of serious illness, with more than 540 US children dying from COVID-19.
Equally important, health officials believe that vaccination of children can reduce the spread of the virus to vulnerable adults.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech are the most advanced in studying the use of vaccines in young children. They say the double-dose vaccine series, which is one-third as effective as the version given to people over the age of 12, is safe and effective at ages 5-11.
An independent expert committee advising the Food and Drug Administration will publicly discuss the evidence at a meeting in late October. If the FDA approves a child-sized dose, another panel of experts advising the CDC will address the issue in early November and provide recommendations to the CDC.
Dr. Marcus Precia, Chief Medical Officer of the State and Territory Health Officials Association, is not yet sure how many people will be shot soon for young children.
“We are potentially very busy and will probably have a reasonably chaotic time,” he said.
But he added that there probably wouldn’t be as much demand as the shots would be seen when they were first made available to adults.
The new CDC guidance requires shots to be taken at pediatrician and family doctor clinics, pharmacies, local clinics, and federal-qualified health centers.
The CDC discussed vaccination clinic options at school, but failed to approve it as the primary method for vaccination of children. School clinics are logistically attractive, but many parents may not be happy with the idea, Precia said.
Guidance also warns healthcare providers to use only doses specifically prepared for children and not to split adult doses, Precia said.
According to CDC guidance, immunization program managers can start ordering doses on Wednesday, but vials will not be delivered until approved by the FDA and CDC.
When the coronavirus vaccine was first approved in December, the US government prioritized having hospitals and pharmacies administer them. Some office-based doctors felt left behind.
Dr. Jesse Hackel registered early in New York State to allow teens to manage their shots. He said his office, located 25 miles north of New York City, did not receive the dose for it until May.
But Hackel said the CDC reassured pediatricians. Once approved for children aged 5 to 11, the process will go smoothly and the pediatrician’s office will be able to receive shipments quickly.
Dr. Richard Besser urged the government to do more to address the racial and economic disparities that may arise in promoting immunization of young children. ..
For example, if a parent cannot take a break from work to bring a child, the child may not be able to take a shot.
Besser, Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former Deputy Director of the CDC, said:
Lindsey Tanner, AP’s medical writer, contributed to this report from Three Oaks, Michigan.
The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.
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