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WH Covid chief recommends parents to vaccinate young children even if they have a previous infection

The White House chief Covid coordinator recommends that young children already infected with the virus get vaccinated — even if data shows they are at limited risk of hospitalization and death and natural immunity is effective at fighting the worst prevent results.

The rollout of the injections began on Tuesday, marking the youngest and final age group to qualify for the vaccines after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both gave the green light to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots for kids from six months to five years old last week.

dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, told CBS Tuesday morning that he recommends that parents get their children vaccinated, even if the child has natural immunity to a previous Covid infection — for which CDC data shows that about 70 percent of American minors have it.

Jha’s guidance comes even as official data continues to show that children are at limited risk from the virus, and that there was limited demand for the shots when they became available to children between the ages of five and 11 earlier this year.

Covid cases have begun to fall again in America, falling below 100,000 for the first time since May — though delayed reporting from the holiday in June could trigger the shift.

A 3-year-old gets the Moderna vaccine.  A nationwide rollout to vaccinate children under five began today, although state-level reports show that 0.00-0.02 percent of all cases of COVID-19 in children resulted in death

A 3-year-old gets the Moderna vaccine. A nationwide rollout to vaccinate children under five began today, although state-level reports show that 0.00-0.02 percent of all cases of COVID-19 in children resulted in death

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“Covid is quite common in children, we think almost 70 percent of children eventually became infected with Covid,” Jha told CBS Mornings.

dr.  Ashish Jha (pictured), the White House's Covid response coordinator, said on Tuesday that even children with natural immunity from previous infection should be vaccinated against Covid

dr. Ashish Jha (pictured), the White House’s Covid response coordinator, said on Tuesday that even children with natural immunity from previous infection should be vaccinated against Covid

“It’s still worth getting the vaccine, it really does provide an extra layer of protection and what vaccines do is they keep kids out of the hospital and that’s why they’re so effective.

And everyone deserves that level of protection. Even if your child has been infected before, the strong recommendation is to protect your child.’

It’s because the recordings will be available in the US for the first time. However, uptake for the shots can be limited, especially during the early stages of their rollout.

Polls for the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that only about one in five parents of children under five (18 percent) would like to have their child vaccinated right away, while a higher proportion (38 percent) say they plan to have their child vaccinated for a while. waiting to see how the vaccine works for others.

About four in ten parents of children under the age of five are more reluctant to have their child vaccinated: 27 percent say they will “absolutely not” have their child vaccinated and 11 percent say they will only do so when necessary.

There was also limited demand for the photos the last time the FDA considered them for a younger age group, children ages five to 11.

According to official CDC data, only 30 percent of Americans in the age group are fully vaccinated, half of the 60 percent between the ages of 12 and 17. Minors generally have low vaccination coverage, with the youngest adults having about 80 percent vaccine use.

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Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, who now serves as a board member at Pfizer, said over the weekend he predicts demand for the jabs will be low initially.

“I think it’s going to be a bit more of a slow rollout compared to what we’ve seen in previous rollouts with the other age groups,” he told CBS’ Face the Nation.

‘There will be pharmacies that vaccinate children. CVS is going to move it to their pharmacies, but they’re only moving to the pharmacies with advanced healthcare providers with their MinuteClinics.

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“You may see some clinics set up near children’s hospitals, but most people will probably get vaccinated in their pediatricians’ offices, and it will take a little longer to get the vaccine to that local area because it’s more difficult.” to vaccinate a very young child.”

Jha agrees it will be slow at first, but hopes that uptake will eventually increase if parents are informed by their doctor.

“We expect confidence in these vaccines to increase in these populations over time,” he said.

“What we’ve encouraged parents to do is talk to their GP, talk to their pediatrician, you know the people who take care of their child and have that conversation. I think over time we will see a majority of parents who will protect their children with these vaccines.”

However, there are still some concerns about the shots and the small sample size used in their clinical studies. Especially since children make up about 0.1 percent of U.S. Covid deaths, despite the vast majority of them being infected right now.

Pfizer released preliminary data last month showing that the vaccine was 80 percent effective at preventing infection from Omicron, although the efficacy rate may change as more trial participants need to be infected before the numbers can be rounded up.

The Pfizer shot comes in three doses, as opposed to the standard two-dose for older age groups. It will also be just three micrograms, one-tenth the standard adult dose and one-third the dose for children ages five to 12.

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The switch was made late last year, when early data showed that just two doses of the shot offered little protection against the virus.

“We know that many parents in the US are eagerly awaiting an approved vaccine for their children under 5 and we are proud to now offer them a vaccine option with a favorable safety profile,” said Albert Bourla, CEO of the New York Times. York City-based Pfizer. said in a statement.

Moderna will use a two-dose injection for young children, with each injection being 25 micrograms — one-fourth the size of the adult injections.

In clinical trials, the Moderna injection was 50 percent effective at preventing mild infection from the virus.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company recruited 260 children, ages two to five, for their trial.

Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, fever and swelling of the groin and forearm were the most commonly reported side effects of the injections.

“We are pleased that the FDA has granted emergency clearance for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children and adolescents, especially for our vulnerable, youngest children,” said Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, in a statement.

Both injections were considered safe and effective by both the FDA and a panel of outside advisors known as the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC).

“In addition to ensuring data for these vaccines met stringent FDA standards, convening an advisory committee was part of a transparent process to provide the public with a clear understanding of the safety and efficacy data required by the authorization of vaccines.” support these two vaccines. for pediatric populations,” Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s chief regulator, said in a statement.

The most worrisome and widely publicized side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines are the inflammatory heart conditions myocarditis and pericarditis.

The FDA reports that the risk of these conditions is low in this age group, but instead affects 12 to 17 year olds most with the Pfizer injection and 18 to 24 year olds with the Moderna shot.

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