US Approves COVID-19 Vaccines For Children Aged Between 6 Months & 5 Years
The US government has said that 10 million doses could be sent across the country immediately.
While Moderna's two-dose vaccine was approved for kids from the ages of six months to five years, Pfizer vaccine was approved for those aged between six months and four years, news agency AFP reported.
"Many parents, caregivers, and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to six months of age," said Food and Drug Administration chief Robert Califf.
"We expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of COVID-19, such as hospitalisation and death," he added.
However, the vaccines need final clearance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before they can be administered.
'10 Million Doses Can be Dispatched Immediately': US Govt
The US government has said that 10 million doses could be sent across the country immediately, followed by millions more in the coming weeks.
The two vaccines were tested on thousands of children during medical trials and were seen to trigger mild side effects, similar to those observed in older recipients.
Pfizer provided better protection against the virus, with an efficacy rate of 80 percent. Moderna, on the other hand, provided protection of 51 percent for children aged between six months and two years, and 37 percent for children between the ages of two and five.
However, the efficacy rate of Pfizer is based on only a few cases, and is thus considered to be preliminary. Also, three doses of Pfizer's vaccine are required to enable protection to its full potential.
There are around 20 million children aged four years and below in the US.
(With inputs from AFP.)
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