CDC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccines for Young Children

CDC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccines for Young Children
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks in Washington on June 16, 2022. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 18 recommended COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months of age.

“We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, said in a statement.

“I encourage parents and caregivers with questions to talk to their doctor, nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the benefits of vaccinations and the importance of protecting their children by getting them vaccinated,” she added.

Walensky acted after the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee unanimously voted to advise the CDC to recommend all children—save for those who have contraindications to the vaccines—from 6 months through 5 years of age get the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, both of which are built on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.
Before that, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the vaccines, based on recommendations from its advisers.

No COVID-19 vaccines were available to children under 5 in the United States before this week’s events.

Government officials say the age group, comprised of about 19.5 million children, will begin getting the vaccines on June 20.

During the CDC advisory panel meeting, advisers said they view the vaccine as an essential way to protect against COVID-19, even though the shots are largely ineffective against infection by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.

“I feel comfortable in saying that vaccinating will be a benefit, a net benefit. We don’t know how much, but it will be a net benefit. So we are making a decision that will help children that we know now will get a certain level of efficacy,” Dr. Oliver Brooks, one of the members, said after the votes.

Members spent portions of the meeting discussing how to best convince parents to vaccinate their children. Surveys indicate that a majority of parents with children under 5 will wait until more information becomes available, will not have their children vaccinated unless the vaccination becomes mandatory, or will never have their children vaccinated.

A healthcare worker prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses in Portland, Ore., in a file photograph. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
A healthcare worker prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses in Portland, Ore., in a file photograph. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

The clinical trials that led to the current situation, funded by the companies themselves, were based on the controversial immunobridging technique, which involves a comparison of levels of antibodies between young children and a group of adults.

The clinical efficacy against infection was substandard for Moderna’s vaccine, which is two doses, and unreliable for Pfizer’s vaccine, which is three doses.

There were no clinical efficacy measurements in terms of protection against severe illness from either trial.

The CDC estimates it will take between 670 and 1,300 vaccinations to prevent a single case of COVID-19 and between 6,150 and 12,300 vaccinations to prevent a single hospitalization.

Bonnie Maldonado, chairwoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Committee on Infectious Diseases, was among those advocating for children to get one of the vaccines.

“The AAP strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccines for all infants, children, and adolescents who do not have contraindications for using a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in their age. This includes primary series, additional doses, and/or booster doses as recommended by the CDC,” she said during the meeting.

Others, though, raised concerns about the vaccines’ safety and efficacy.

“This is the first vaccine to be distributed under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and the first vaccine using mRNA technology to be used in humans,” Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center, told The Epoch Times in an email. “There were a limited number of infants and young children studied and there is no safety data on simultaneous administration of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines when given along with other vaccines. The knowledge base is limited and long term effects on immune function are not known.”

She urged parents who do get their children vaccinated to not assume symptoms like fever that appear following vaccination are unrelated to the vaccines, and to explore reporting symptoms to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
Related Topics