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US prepares to vaccinate children aged six months to four years

The White House said Thursday it has an operational plan to deliver 10 million doses of the Covid vaccine to the nation’s youngest children by June 20, pending approval from regulators.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will convene a panel of experts on June 15 to weigh the recommendation of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged six months to four years given in three doses, and Moderna’s vaccine for those aged six months. at five years administered in two shots.

Read also | Millions of unused Covid doses are going to waste in the US

Both appear to be safe and effective, according to results announced by the companies, although the FDA’s independent analysis of the data is expected to be released within days.

Children under five are the only age group not yet eligible for Covid vaccination in most countries, a cause for concern for many parents. FDA clearance is widely considered the global gold standard.

Severe Covid illness is very rare in those under the age of five but can occur, with 482 deaths in the United States in this age group since the start of the pandemic, or about 0.1% of all deaths, according to official data.

Read also | Research finds Covid affects unborn children

Children can also contract a rare post-viral disease called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which has affected some 8,525 American children and killed 69.

Like adults, some children who contract Covid may go on to develop long Covid, with new, persistent or recurring symptoms including brain fog and fatigue.

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