The Vaccine and Other Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), an FDA advisory committee, met over the last two days to discuss data for COVID-19 vaccines in children under 5 years of age (among other topics). Here are the big takeaways!!!
The committee voted unanimously that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (3 dose series) in children 6 months through 4 years of age outweigh the risks.
The committee voted unanimously that the benefits of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (2 dose series) in children 6 months through 5 years outweigh the risks.
YAY!!!!!! Roughly 18 million children are a HUGE step closer to access to a COVID-19 vaccine. To date, children under 5 have not been eligible for any COVID-19 vaccination formulations. COVID-19 vaccines decrease the risk of infection, transmission, and severe complications.
What does this mean for families with young kids?
Vaccinations for children under 5 will *likely* be available as early as next week.
Some families have been anxiously awaiting this news for many months. Some parents have additional questions. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, a room of 21 experts expressed unanimous confidence in the safety of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine formulations and agree the benefits of the two COVID-19 vaccinations for children under age 5 exceed the risks. That is cause for celebration. Today’s decisions give choices to parents in a situation where no options previously existed. That’s a win for science, a win for parents, and most importantly a win for kids under 5.
We still have a few more steps before the vaccine is available to kids in your neighborhood. First, the FDA will make a decision for or against emergency use authorization for the vaccines followed by CDC approval.
In the meantime, here are a few things you can do:
– Stay tuned. Dear Pandemic will be digesting all the data and providing updates regularly over the next few days. If you have specific questions, ask us in our question box.
– The news cycle is hopping and ripe for misinformation. Pick a few trusted information sources and decide how much time you will spend reading all the hot takes.
– Primary Care Providers are a great source of information specific to your child. Reach out with questions.