Story at a glance:
- Pfizer vaccine is safe for children as young as 5 years old, according to the company.
- Regulators are working to approve it, but they can’t rush it due to rare heart-related side effects in 12- to 17-year old males.
- Both Pfizer and Moderna are studying the safety of delivering a vaccine for 6-month-olds.
In a news release Monday, it was announced that a lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine is safe for children as young as 5 years old.
Regulators are working hard to approve Pfizer’s vaccine for children, but because the vaccine has a rare side effect, particularly among younger males, precaution is needed.
As Changing America previously reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there is a stronger correlation between the coronavirus vaccine and heart inflammation among young men under the age of 30. They may face heart complications after being fully vaccinated, Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office, said during a Food and Drug Administration advisory group.
The Washington Post reported an FDA analysis stating that 16- to 17-year old males have a 1 in 5,000 chance of having heart complications.
In addition to Pfizer, Moderna also is studying its shots in elementary school-aged children, USA Today reported, with both vaccine makers studying the safety of delivering a vaccine for 6-month-olds.
There have been about 460 COVID-19-related deaths and about 20,000 hospitalizations out of the 5 new million cases of COVID-19 among children and teens.
“We are eager to extend the protection afforded by the vaccine to this younger population, subject to regulatory approval, especially as we track the spread of the Delta variant and the substantial threat it poses to children,” Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said in a statement. “Since July, pediatric cases of COVID-19 have risen by about 240 percent in the U.S. — underscoring the public health need for vaccination.”
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