FDA Expected to Eliminate First Coronavirus Vaccine for Young Children | Local News

FDA Expected to Eliminate First Coronavirus Vaccine for Young Children

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State and local health officials are bracing not only for more hesitation over vaccines, but possible struggles over school immunization mandates.

“I think the controversy we’ve seen over the mask issue is likely to pale in comparison to what we’re going to see on the idea of ​​a vaccine warrant” for schoolchildren, Dr Jessica Snowden, head of the division of infectious diseases at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, said. At a meeting this week of the FDA’s Expert Advisory Group on Vaccines, several members spoke out strongly against school mandates on vaccines.

What to know about Covid-19 booster injections

The FDA has cleared booster shots for millions of recipients of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna beneficiaries who are eligible for a recall include people 65 years of age and older and young adults at high risk of severe Covid-19 due to medical conditions or their workplace. Eligible Pfizer and Moderna beneficiaries may receive a booster at least six months after their second dose. All Johnson & Johnson recipients will be eligible for a second injection at least two months after the first.

Yes. The FDA has updated its clearances to allow medical providers to boost people with a different vaccine than the one they originally received, a strategy known as “mix and match.” Whether you have received Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer-BioNTech, you may receive a booster of any other vaccine. Regulators have not recommended any vaccine over another as a booster. They have also remained silent on whether it is best to stick to the same vaccine when possible.

The CDC said the conditions that qualify a person for a booster shot include: hypertension and heart disease; diabetes or obesity; cancer or blood disorders; weakened immune system; chronic lung, kidney or liver disease; dementia and some disabilities. Pregnant women and current and former smokers are also eligible.

The FDA has cleared the boosters for workers whose work puts them at high risk of exposure to potentially infectious people. The CDC says this group includes: emergency medical workers; education workers; food and agricultural workers; manufacturing workers; correctional workers; workers in the US postal service; public transport workers; employees of grocery stores.

Yes. The CDC says the Covid vaccine can be given regardless of the timing of other vaccines, and many pharmacy websites allow people to schedule a flu shot along with a booster dose.

A CDC study suggests that 42% of children aged 5 to 11 have antibodies to coronavirus from a previous infection, prompting some FDA advisers to ask if one dose would be enough for children. The use of this study has been questioned by some scientists. FDA panelists also asked if only people with high-risk medical conditions, such as obesity, should get vaccinated, as it is clear that they are most likely to get very sick with Covid- 19.

But CDC officials said it would be difficult to narrow down eligibility, and the FDA advisory committee approved offering the pediatric dose to the entire age group by a 17-0 vote. , with one abstention.

Dr Snowden said the Delta variant eliminates any notion that children are impermeable to the virus. At the height of the latest wave, she said, Arkansas Children’s Hospital was treating up to 30 children a day for Covid, some with fully vaccinated parents. Although that number has declined, “it still hasn’t returned to where we were before Delta,” she said.

Much of the burden of rolling out children’s vaccines is expected to fall on pediatricians and family physicians, many of whom are strained by staff shortages and pent-up demand for care at this point in the pandemic, but have connections. deep with parents and children. Dr Sterling Ransone, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a physician in rural Deltaville, Va., Said he would keep his office open later weekdays and Saturdays to meet demand for pediatric injections .

“We know who to prioritize – asthmatics, people with heart disease, people who are obese,” he said.

Dr Victor Peralta, a pediatrician in the racially diverse neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, said adoption may be a little slower early on among his patients, most of whom are poor enough to have Medicaid coverage. . But he predicted that the pediatric dose would spread and ultimately help slow the transmission of the virus. “I have no doubt that it will make a difference beyond the simple worried well,” he said.

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