The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering Pfizer’s bivalent covid booster for children as young as five ahead of winter ……but even adults don’t want it!
CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, signed off on the updated Covid jabs only hours after the Food and Drug Administration authorized them on Wednesday this week.
Officials are now trying to persuade parents let their five to 11-year-olds get a single dose of the updated shot before winter to protect them against the Omicron variant.
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Children aged six and above can also get Moderna’s bivalent booster. According to the CDC, both new jabs offer better protection against the new Omicron variants than previous jabs.
However, several experts have said there is little or no need to inoculate children, pointing out that they face a vanishingly low risk of serious illness and death from the virus.
Meanwhile in the UK, children under the age of 12 have been banned from having covid vaccines..
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said that the offer of covid jabs to healthy five to 11-year-olds was only ever meant to be temporary.
The Mail Online reports: Official estimates suggest more than eight in 10 children under 17 already have antibodies against Covid – either from a jab or previous infection.
It comes amid a sluggish booster rollout among adults.
Before today’s announcement, just six per cent of Americans 12 and older who were eligible for the bivalent boosters had come forward for one.
The FDA said today that the younger age groups could get the updated booster from two months after their last inoculation.
The shots have been designed to target the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, which together are behind about 93 per cent of cases in the US.
The original jabs were only targeting the old ‘Wuhan’ virus, which triggered the first wave of the pandemic.
Dr Peter Marks, the FDA’s head of vaccine approvals, said the recommendation was made due to the return of classrooms.
‘Since children have gone back to school in person and people are resuming pre-pandemic behaviors and activities, there is the potential for increased risk of exposure to the virus that causes Covid,’ he said.
‘While it has largely been the case that Covid tends to be less severe in children than adults, as the various waves of Covid have occurred, more children have gotten sick with the disease and have been hospitalized.
‘Children may also experience long-term effects, even following initially mild disease.
‘We encourage parents to consider primary vaccination for children and follow-up with an updated booster dose when eligible.’
Signing off on the expanded booster program today, the CDC’s director Rochelle Walensky said it was a ‘critical step’ for the country.
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