NEW YORK (AP) – An expert panel supported another COVID-19 vaccine option for children ages 6 to 17 on Thursday.
Advisors to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously to recommend Moderna shots as an option for school-age children and youth. This group has been able to get images made by Pfizer since last year.
The panel’s recommendations are usually adopted by the CDC and become the government’s guide for US physicians and their patients.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved the shots – full strength doses for children ages 12 to 17 and half strength for those 6 to 11. The doses should be given about a month apart.
The FDA also approved a third dose for children with significantly weakened immune systems to be given approximately one month after the second dose of the primary series. The CDC is expected to recommend the same.
Modern officials have said they expect to later offer a booster to all children aged 6 to 17.
How much demand there will be for shots is not clear. Teenagers were eligible a year ago for Pfizer’s vaccine, which uses the same technology, and only 60% have received two doses. Filming for younger children started in November; about 29% have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
More than 600 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in children ages 5 to 17 in the United States. Health authorities have also expressed concern about the increased risk of long-term health problems in children after infection, such as diabetes or odor or taste problems.
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