Covid-19: US recommends jabs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers

CDC says vaccines should be made available to children as young as 6 months

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Published: Sat 18 Jun 2022, 11:14 PM

US health advisers on Saturday recommended Covid-19 vaccines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers — the last group without the shots.

The advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously decided that coronavirus vaccines should be made available to children as young as 6 months, offering protection from hospitalizations, deaths and possible long-term complications that are still not clearly understood.

“We’ve taken a major step forward today,” said Dr. Oliver Brooks, one of the members of the advisory panel.

The final signoff was expected later in the day from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. While the Food and Drug Administration OKs vaccines, it’s the CDC that decides who should get them.

The government has been gearing up for the start of the shots early next week, with millions of doses ordered for distribution to doctors, hospitals and community health clinics around the country. Roughly 18 million kids will be eligible.

Many families have been anxious for officials to approve vaccines for small children, saying they have long avoided bringing their kids to birthday parties and other gatherings because they weren’t vaccinated.

“Parents will breathe a sigh of relief knowing these vaccines will very soon be available,” Dr. Jack Resneck, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement.

Still, it remains to be seen how many will ultimately get the vaccines. Less than a third of children ages 5 to 11 have done so since vaccination opened up to them last November.

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