US approves Covid vaccines for youngest kids

The United States has become the first country to approve mRNA vaccines for children as young as six months

US health authorities on Saturday cleared the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for children aged five and younger, in a move President Joe Biden greeted as a “monumental step” in the fight against the virus.

The United States thus became the first country to approve use of the so-called mRNA vaccines for children as young as six months.

But the vaccines required further clearance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country’s leading public health agency — and they received that on Saturday.

Once the green light was received from the FDA, the US government began distributing millions of doses of the vaccine across the country.

In a statement Saturday, he touted the vaccines as “safe (and) highly effective,” and said that “for parents all over the country, this is a day of relief and celebration.”

The Moderna vaccine, administered in two doses a month, will be available to children aged six months to five years in reduced doses of 25 micrograms (half the amount given children aged six to 11, and a quarter the for those 12 and older ).

The difference, however, is that children will receive three shots — the first two three weeks apart, followed by a third eight weeks later.

Its side effects, however, have appeared less serious in drug trials than those of the Moderna vaccine.

About 20 million US children are now eligible, by age, for the new vaccines.

So-called long Covid is also a concern, as is multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare but serious post-viral condition.

la/bbk/st

Originally published as US approves Covid vaccines for youngest kids

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