It started in the US yesterday, Tuesday vaccination campaign against covid-19 in children under 5 years of age, a development for which many parents have expressed satisfaction as they wish to protect their children from the effects of the disease.
“We are excited,” said Amisa Vakil, a mother of two 3-year-old boys who are wearing Spiderman T-shirts and waiting to be vaccinated against covid at Houston Pediatric Hospital in Texas.
One of the twins underwent three heart surgeries in the first five months of his life. “He’s in a lot of danger, so you know we lived in a small bubble,” he said during the pandemic. “Now he has a little armor that helps him a lot.”
At the same hospital, Anna Farrow, who has gone with her husband Luke, hopes that “this will be the beginning of a kind of normal childhood” for her two children, 3-year-old George and 10-month-old Hope.
“It’s a historic milestone, a monumental step forward,” said President Joe Biden, as millions of vaccines were sent across the United States.
“For the first time in our fight against this pandemic, almost every American will be able to access vital vaccines,” the White House said in a statement.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week gave the green light for the use of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in infants as young as 6 months, children and adolescents. Until now, only the Pfizer vaccine had been licensed for use in children over 5 years of age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved it on Saturday.
Few other countries – including Argentina, Bahrain, Chile, China, Cuba, Hong Kong and Venezuela – provide covid-19 vaccine to very young children, but mRNA vaccines are considered state-of-the-art technology.
The European Medicines Agency is currently considering the Moderna vaccine for use in children under 6 years of age and may follow the US recommendation.
Children aged 6 months to 4 years are not as at risk as adults for covid-19 infection.
But because of the many cases, more than 45,000 hospitalizations and nearly 500 deaths in the 0-4 age group have been reported in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation in May, only one in five parents is in a hurry to vaccinate their child.
Another indication that the vaccine political divide remains in the United States is the fact that Florida Gov. Ron DeSadis refused to order vaccines for young children from the federal government, “who have zero risk of catching anything,” according to with him.
“This is not the time to do politics,” Biden replied. “The goal is to allow parents to do what they can to ensure the safety of their children.”