FDA committee considers vaccines for young children

Virus Outbreak Vaccine Option
Posted at 7:50 AM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 07:50:27-04

CINCINNATI — COVID-19 vaccines could soon be available for toddlers as an advisory committee for the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) meets Wednesday to review data from Pfizer and Moderna.

The committee will discuss expanding vaccine eligibility to children under the age of five. Members will consider the possibility of offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to those age six months through four years old and the Moderna vaccine for those six months through five years old.

If the FDA signs off, the next step would fall with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If the CDC also signs off this week, the White House says shots could begin for this age group early next week.

Some parents say they’ve been waiting for this moment for what feels like a lifetime.

“We're just we're ready to include our kids and things again,” said Loveland resident Jessica Bohnhoff. “My youngest, she was born at the very start of this. She was born in April, the very beginning of April. The world went on lockdown. She's known nothing but this so I'm ready for her to experience the world.”

Bohnhoff plans to vaccinate her kids as soon as she’s able to. She said not being able to has limited activities for her family.

Despite this, not all parents agree. A recent KFF Covid-19 Vaccine Monitor found less than 20% of parents of kids under the age of five are eager to get their child vaccinated right away.

Some local parents on social media told WCPO they’re concerned about the safety of the vaccine and are worried there isn’t enough data about it.

Mercy Health’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Stephen Feagins said COVID-19 vaccines have been studied far more than what is typical.

“Normally, when a vaccine comes out, the studies have been in the thousands,” he said. “We have vaccines that have been used for billions of people with a B. We have adverse reporting systems that can find things that are one in 500,000 or one in a million. We know so much more about these vaccines than we've ever known.”

“Typically, the childhood vaccine, when it first comes out is not anywhere near as studied as these,” Dr. Feagins said.

Millions of vaccine doses for children have already been ordered across the country since The White House opened up pre-ordering for states two weeks ago.

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