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CDC vaccine advisory committee to review and vote on COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5

Virus Outbreak Washington
Posted at 6:59 AM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 08:22:07-04

TAMPA, Fla.  — The vaccine advisory committee for the CDC is meeting Friday and Saturday. It's the final phase of getting COVID-19 vaccines authorized for kids under the age of 5.

Advisers will be considering Pfizer’s vaccine and Moderna’s vaccine.

Pfizer’s vaccine is one-tenth of the adult dose and is a three-dose series for children 6 months to 4 years old.

The Moderna vaccine is one-fourth of the adult dose and will require two shots for children 6 months to 5 years old.

The FDA’s vaccine advisers said both brands appear to be safe and effective and voted in favor of authorizing them earlier this week.

RECOMMENDED: Florida didn't pre-order any COVID-19 vaccines for younger kids, DOH says

“They looked at all of the safety information from the clinical trials in this age group of kids and the side effects seem to be similar to some of the others,” said Dr. Laura Arline, Chief Quality Officer for BayCare Health System.

“The safety studies, the efficacy studies, the small clinical trials that have been done look pretty similar,” said Dr. David Berger, Board Certified Pediatrician for Wholistic Pediatrics & Family Care.

Now it’s the CDC’s turn to take a look.

Shots can’t be distributed until the CDC’s vaccine advisers review the data and vote.

Then the CDC’s director has to sign off on it before it’s official.

“They have a subcommittee that determines the usage of that vaccines. So that subcommittee would look into how to use those vaccines in infants and children,” said Arline.

The CDC vote is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

If given the green light, the White House said shots could be distributed soon after.

“I imagine that the pediatric formulations will be produced pretty quickly,” said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, Distinguished USF Health Professor.

However, there will likely be a delay for parents in Florida trying to get the shot for their kids since Florida is the only state that didn't pre-order any of these vaccines.

State officials said it’s now up to individual doctor’s offices and pharmacies to make their own orders. That means availability won’t be immediately widespread.

“I don’t think we’re really going to know how much of an impact this is going to have but certainly if it hasn’t been pre-ordered... on day 1, there’s going to be some people who are not going to be able to get it,” said Berger.