CDC is expected to recommend vaccines to infants

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s scientific advisors will meet on Saturday to determine if the benefits of the Covid vaccine outweigh the risks for children under the age of five.

The meeting, which will be livestreamed here, will start at 10 am EST. Despite the lack of data, especially the reservation of the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, advisors are almost guaranteed to vote in favor.

Earlier this week, another expert committee advising the Food and Drug Administration unanimously endorsed the vaccine. On Friday, the FDA approved the Moderna vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years and the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 6 months to 4 years. (Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be available to children over 5 years old from November.)

On Friday, a CDC adviser heard evidence supporting the effectiveness of the vaccine in the youngest children. However, the Commission repeatedly requested Pfizer for the quote, stating that three doses of the vaccine were needed to protect the child, compared to two doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Both vaccines were safe and both showed antibody levels similar to those found in young adults. The state is preparing to immunize children next week if there is a green light from the authorities’ director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, shortly after the Commission approves on Saturday.

Among the challenges facing the CDC panel on Saturday is the difficulty of recommending two very different vaccines for the same population.

“Implementing these two deployments will be very difficult,” said Katelyn Jetelina, a public health expert and author of the widely read newsletter “Your Local Epidemicologist.”

“We will need a lot of active communication about the difference between the two and what it means to take over one to the other,” she said.

In clinical trials, Moderna found that two doses of the vaccine produced antibody levels, each at a dose of one-quarter that of adults, at least as high as those found in young adults.

The company estimated the effectiveness of the vaccine for symptomatic treatment in about 51% of children aged 6 to 24 months and 37% of children aged 2 to 5 years. The side effects were minor, but one in five children had a fever.

Based on these data, the FDA approved two shots of the Moderna vaccine at 4-week intervals.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine also produced a strong immune response, but after three doses, company officials told a scientific adviser on Friday.

They said the two doses of the vaccine were inadequate, justifying the FDA’s decision in February to postpone the approval of the vaccine until regulatory authorities obtained data on the three doses. According to some advisers, the company gave children only one-tenth of the adult dose on each shot, so two doses may not have been enough.

Pfizer scientists claimed on Friday that the overall efficacy of the vaccine was 80% in children under the age of five. However, the calculation was based on three children in the vaccine group and seven children who received the placebo, making it an unreliable indicator, CDC advisers said.

Dr. Sara Long, an infectious disease expert at Drexel University School of Medicine, said: However, Dr. Long said it was “comfortable enough” with other data supporting the efficacy of the vaccine.

Three doses of the Pfizer vaccine produce antibody levels comparable to those found in young adults, suggesting that they are likely to be just as effective.

“Pfizer is a three-dose series, but it’s very effective for a three-dose series,” said Dr. William Townner, who led both Moderna and Pfizer vaccine trials at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. ..

Both vaccines are better than nothing, Dr. Towner added. He predicted that some parents might choose Moderna because it’s easier to take a child to a pediatrician with two injections than to arrange three doses.

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for children aged 5 to 11 years in November, but less than 30% of that age group have received two doses. Parents of the youngest children may be willing to choose the Covid vaccine if it can be provided with other regular immunity, Dr. Towner said.

“It’s an area that many people aren’t sure about right now,” he said. “I hope there will be some guidance around it.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.