These decisions come at the height of the epidemic in the country, linked to the Omicron variant, and when schoolchildren are preparing to return to class after the end of the year holidays. The US Medicines Agency (FDA) has also authorized a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for immunocompromised children between the ages of 5 and 11, such as those who have received an organ transplant.
The Centers For Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Have Yet To Endorse These Decisions.
The FDA said it relies in particular on data from Israel, where thousands of children and adolescents aged 12 to 15 have already received this booster dose. In addition, out of more than 4.1 million people aged 16 and over who received a booster there only five months after the first two injections, no “new safety problem” was raised, and also argued by the FDA.
“Allowing the vaccination with a booster after five months instead of six may provide better protection earlier against the highly contagious Omicron variant,” the agency wrote in a statement. 12-15-year-olds have been eligible for the injection of the first two doses of Pfizer since May 2021, that is, about eight months ago.
The age to receive a booster has only been gradually lowered in the United States, with experts initially worrying about the risks of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) in young people after a messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna ).
But the peak of cases seems to be in 16-17-year-olds, and the vast majority of them are not serious, with an average hospital stay of just one day and no long-term effects seen so far. Peter Marks of the FDA said at a press conference.
Record Of Cases
At least for now, people who have received two first injections of Moderna still have to wait six months for their booster, the agency said. Those who have received a dose of Johnson & Johnson can do so two months later.
The United States currently averages about 400,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day, the highest since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Hospitalizations are also on the rise, but not at the same rate, and for the moment remain below the peak recorded a year ago.
Hospitalizations of children sick with COVID-19 are also on the rise, with vaccination rates notably lower among the youngest.
However, The Authorities Want Schools To Remain Open As Much As Possible.
“We are aware that there may be difficulties” for this re-entry, US Minister of Education Miguel Cardona said on Sunday. But the goal is to maintain “full-time face-to-face learning”, with students having already “suffered enough”, he said.