Health

US approves 3 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for children


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 3 approved a booster dose of Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old.

The agency also shortened the time between the second and third shots from 6 months to 5 months in this age group. Dr Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner, said: “With the wave of Omicron, we need to continue to take effective, life-saving preventive measures such as two primary immunizations and booster doses, wearable. masks, limit contact”.

In May 2021, the FDA approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children 12-15 years old, a course of two injections. The recommendation for a third dose of vaccine for this population was made after FDA review of case studies from Israel. The data showed that the third dose of the vaccine did not cause serious side effects in adolescents. Shortening the duration of vaccination is also safe enough.

Specifically, the FDA received no reports of myocarditis or pericarditis following the third dose. In the context of increasing nCoV infections across the country, agency leaders also said that it is urgent to expand the program to a group of students, the benefits outweigh the risks.

In people 12 to 15 years of age, the third dose of Pfizer vaccine is similar to the previous two doses (30 micrograms). Currently, about 50% of the population between the ages of 12 and 15 have received two doses of the vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 5 million people who completed their vaccination five months ago are eligible for a booster shot.

A 12-year-old student is vaccinated against Covid-19 in San Antonio, USA, May 2021. Photo: NY Times

The FDA still recommends a booster shot after at least 6 months in people receiving the Moderna vaccine and at least two months in people receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The agency also allows some children ages 5 to 11 who are immunocompromised to receive a third dose of the vaccine. But children under 12 years old are generally not eligible for booster shots. Due to fear from parents, many children have had their first dose in recent weeks.

As of January 3, about 68.8 million Americans have received a third dose of the vaccine against Covid-19. At least 69 million people 5 years of age and older have not received their first dose.

A report released on December 30 by the US CDC said that children aged 5 to 11 years old who received the Pfizer vaccine rarely experienced serious side effects. The agency evaluated data from doctors, the community, and surveys of parents or guardians of about 43,000 children in this age group.

Children have pain at the injection site, fatigue or headache, especially after the second dose. About 13% had a fever. But cases of myocarditis – a side effect of Pfizer vaccination in some adolescents and adults – are still rare in young children.

As of December 31, more than 7.6 million Vietnamese children aged 12-17 have received the Covid-19 vaccine. According to the Ministry of Health, coverage of at least one dose is 83.5%, coverage of two doses is 53.4% ​​in this population. The Ministry of Health recorded that about 0.3% of children had common reactions after injection, including: fever, injection site pain, muscle pain, headache, fatigue… The health sector is developing a plan to access vaccine resources. to vaccinate children 5-11 years old and implement according to the guidelines of the World Health Organization.

Thuc Linh (Follow CNN)

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