The US drug regulator has announced that it is safe for children aged six months to four to be immunized with Biontech / Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The US Food and Drug Administration announced on Sunday that according to an internal analysis to be confirmed by external experts on June 15, vaccines are effective and safe in this age group as well. The analysis shows that there are no new safety concerns regarding the use of the vaccine in young children.
“Available data support the effectiveness of the Biontech / Pfizer 3-dose primary vaccine series for the prevention of COVID-19 in the 6-month to 4-year age group,” the expert said in a statement.
An earlier analysis of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine data based on 10 symptomatic cases of COVID-19 identified in the dominant variant of the coronavirus Omicron suggests an 80.3% efficacy of the vaccine in the age group below 5 years.
COVID-19 injections for children under 6 years of age have not yet been approved anywhere in the world. It remains unclear how many parents will vaccinate their children, but demand in the 5-11 age group is low.
The administration of US President Joe Biden expects vaccinations for young children to begin on June 21, if the drug agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the vaccines.
Government officials say pre-orders for the under-6 age group are low, but demand is expected to increase once vaccines are approved.
The US news agency released an analysis on Friday that the Moderna vaccine was safe and effective for children aged 6 months to 17 years.
The number of registered cases of coronavirus infection in the world on Monday morning exceeded 535 million, according to data from the American University “Jones Hopkins”. The death toll from the disease is over 6.3 million. The death rate per 1 million people is 812.
The United States is removing pre-flight testing for COVID-19
U.S. authorities will lift Sunday’s requirement to test for COVID-19 before traveling to the United States, Reuters reported.
The obligation for most non-US citizens to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the United States remains.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will re-evaluate the decision in 90 days, which means that travel to the United States will be easier throughout the summer.
The change comes when the busy travel season begins and carriers are already preparing for record demand. The airlines said many Americans did not travel abroad for fear that if they received a positive COVID-19 test while out of the country, they would not be able to return home.
Since December, US health authorities have required passengers to be tested the day before their flight, but such a test is not required if entering the United States by land.
In April a federal judge declared the requirement to wear masks on board aircraft and at airports and train stations illegal and no longer applicable. The Ministry of Justice is appealing the order, but a decision is not expected before the autumn.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told Reuters last week that dropping the negative test requirements would increase travel. 44 of the 50 countries Delta flies to no longer require such a survey.
In December, due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases, the requirements for international travelers were tightened and they had to be tested the day before they were asked to be tested the day before arriving in the US, instead of up to three days as before.
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