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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Are children under 5 getting vaccinated?

21 June 2022 - 07:00
US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has approved vaccinations for children who are five years and younger.
US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has approved vaccinations for children who are five years and younger.
Image: 123RF/Katarzyna Białasiewicz

The US has approved Covid-19 vaccination for children who are five years and younger.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended the vaccinations and administration of booster shots for children as young as six months to five years after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised emergency use of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for this age group. 

The FDA announced it had amended the emergency use authorisation (EUA) of the Moderna vaccine to include its use in individuals in this cohort.

The vaccine had been authorised for use in adults from 18 years of age and older.

Similarly, it amended the EUA for the Pfizer vaccine for children aged six months to four years. It was previously authorised for use in children who are five years and older. 

The eligible cohort will receive two doses of the Moderna vaccine which is administered in two doses, one month apart. The Pfizer vaccine is administered in three doses, in which the initial two doses are administered three weeks apart followed by a third dose administered at least eight weeks after the second dose in the youngest cohort.

FDA commissioner Robert M. Califf said the vaccines will prevent cases of severe illness and hospitalisation in case of infection with Covid-19. 

“Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to six months of age.  As we have seen with older age groups, we expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of Covid-19, such as hospitalisation and death.”

In SA, the health department administers vaccines to people who are 12 years and older. 

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