Tue | Jun 28, 2022

CDC advisers recommend COVID-19 shots for children under 5

Published:Saturday | June 18, 2022 | 1:36 PM
This May 2022 photo provided by Pfizer shows the production of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5 in Puurs, Belgium. US regulators on Friday, June 17, authorized the first COVID-19 shots for infants and preschoolers, paving the way for vaccinations to begin next week. (Pfizer via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — United States health advisers on Saturday recommended COVID-19 vaccines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers — the last group without the shots.

The advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously decided that coronavirus vaccines should be made available to children as young as six months, offering protection from hospitalisations, deaths and possible long-term complications that are still not clearly understood.

“We've taken a major step forward today,” said Dr. Oliver Brooks, one of the members of the advisory panel.

The final signoff was expected later in the day from CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky. While the Food and Drug Administration OKs vaccines, it's the CDC that decides who should get them.

The government has been gearing up for the start of the shots early next week, with millions of doses ordered for distribution to doctors, hospitals and community health clinics around the country. Roughly 18 million kids will be eligible.

Many families have been anxious for officials to approve vaccines for small children, saying they have long avoided bringing their kids to birthday parties and other gatherings because they weren't vaccinated.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.