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The Latest on Vaccines for Kids Under 5

The Latest on Vaccines for Kids Under 5

Apoorva MandavilliReporting on the coronavirus

The Latest on Vaccines for Kids Under 5

Apoorva MandavilliReporting on the coronavirus

Pool photo by Ashlee Rezin Garcia

A series of events over the last few weeks have made it confusing and difficult for parents of children under 5 to know when a Covid vaccine might be available to protect their children.

Here’s what to know ->

The Latest on Vaccines for Kids Under 5

Apoorva MandavilliReporting on the coronavirus

Why isn’t the vaccine available yet for young children?

In December, Pfizer-BioNTech reported that two doses of the vaccine produced a strong immune response in children aged 6 months to under 2 years, but not in those aged 2 through 4 years.

Investigators are now testing a third dose in children under 5.

Results are expected in a few weeks.

The Latest on Vaccines for Kids Under 5

Apoorva MandavilliReporting on the coronavirus

But isn’t there new data on the vaccine’s effectiveness in children under 5?

As the trial continued through December, some children became infected with the Omicron variant, giving the companies insight into the vaccine’s performance in the real world, and prompting the Food and Drug Administration to consider authorizing two doses of the vaccine.

But as the number of infections grew, the data did not support that decision.

The Latest on Vaccines for Kids Under 5

Apoorva MandavilliReporting on the coronavirus

Pfizer, via Reuters

So what happens now?

Now we wait. Once the trial results are available, scientific advisers to the F.D.A. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will review the evidence and make their recommendations.

The Latest on Vaccines for Kids Under 5

Apoorva MandavilliReporting on the coronavirus

Do young children still need the vaccine?

They do. But experts are divided on how urgently children need it.

Federal officials have argued that it’s important to begin vaccinating young children before a new, potentially more dangerous variant arrives.

But some researchers feel that with the Omicron surge ebbing, the agency is wise to wait for results from the trial of third shots.

Catch up on the latest coronavirus news:

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