A medical panel has recommended the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children.
This endorsement now allows children between the ages of 5 to 11-year-old to get their shots.
The independent health experts declared this in the United States after 17 panellists voted for the vaccine.
However, after the endorsement by the Food and Drug Administration, 28 million children in the United States would receive their shot in mid-November.
Amanda Cohn of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the benefit of the vaccine outweighs the risks.
“It is pretty clear to me that the benefits do outweigh the risk. When I hear about children who are being put in the ICU, who are having long term outcomes after their COVID, and children are dying,” she said.
A paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Paul Offit, said: “It’s never when you know everything — the question is when you know enough”.
He explained that the benefit of the vaccine for children surpasses the risk of myocarditis. The side-effect is usually very low.
Meanwhile, some experts have advised that the use of the vaccine should remain a personal decision.
A top FDA vaccine scientist, Peter Marks, had earlier said that young children are at risk of the COVID-19. Marks added that over 1.9 million infections, 8300 hospitalizations. A third of these statistics required intensive care.
Marks also said that there have been around 100 deaths, “making it a top 10 leading cause of death.”
FDA presented a rare side effect from an analysis by Pfizer. This indicated that the vaccine could cause myocarditis.
However, the analysis revealed that the vaccine was 90.7 per cent potent at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
Hong Yang, an FDA scientist, presented a risk-benefit model that showed how the vaccine would curb the current infection rates.
“If community transmission was brought down to very low levels, this may change – but even then vaccination might be worthwhile because of long-term risks linked to non-hospitalized cases,” she added.
Source: PUNCH Healthwise