How important are COVID vaccine booster doses in children?

How important are COVID vaccine booster doses in children?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) support the third dose of the pediatric COVID vaccine (REUTERS/Cindy Liu)

A few hours earlier, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised formally a booster dose of the vaccine (or third dose) against COVID-19 for children aged 5 to 11 years.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States had authorized Tuesday the booster dose in this age group with the Pfizer vaccine “to provide continued protection against COVID-19”, The agency explained this in a press release. In a vote of 11 to 1, with one abstention, the committee agreed that children aged 5 to 11 should receive an additional dose of the mRNA vaccine (which would amount to a total of four doses for immunocompromised children) at least 5 months after its primary series.

COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than in adults. But the wave linked to the Omicron variant has sickened more children, caused more hospitalizations and left infants with long-term effects”pointed out the head of the FDA, Robert Californiain order to justify the reason for the authorization of the recall of the pediatric vaccine.

Many experts believe it is actually a three-dose vaccine rather than two doses and a booster.  (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustrations)
Many experts believe it is actually a three-dose vaccine rather than two doses and a booster. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustrations)

This aligns the recommendations for this age group with the rest of the population, as a booster dose is recommended for anyone over the age of 12. (People over 50 can also receive a second mRNA boost.) In addition, many ACIP members seemed to openly acknowledge that the data now indicates that it is actually a three-dose vaccine rather than two doses and a booster.

The pediatric dose used is 10 microgramsboth for the initial vaccinations and for the additional dose (against 30 micrograms for that intended for those over 12 years of age). The FDA clearance comes as the United States is seeing a surge in covid infections, with nearly 90,000 cases reported daily. Hospitalizations are also on the rise.

“I would hate to suggest that a third dose is not necessary if we consider these three doses as part of the total protection that a person needs, regardless of age,” explained Lynn Bahta, registered nurse, from the ministry. of Minnesota Health.

Minors are the group furthest behind in COVID vaccinations (REUTERS/Cindy Liu)
Minors are the group furthest behind in COVID vaccinations (REUTERS/Cindy Liu)

The infectious disease expert Matthew Daley, from Kaiser Permanente Colorado prepaid to Aurora, added that multi-dose vaccines, such as diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP), are part of the routine childhood immunization series, and that research in other populations showed that an mRNA vaccine booster “provided a measurable and detectable benefit across a wide range of health outcomes.”

“Why would we think the same wouldn’t be true for children when they get a lower dose?” he added. “Would it make sense that children aged 5-11 would be the only group… where a third dose is not needed?. ACIP members also pointed to data presented by CDC staff, which showed not only that vaccinated children were less likely to be hospitalized, but may also be less likely to develop prolonged COVID symptoms. “We tend to focus and define serious illness by hospitalization and death, but the long-range impact and severity of COVID in children is significant,” said Grace Lee, president of ACIP. , from Stanford University in California.

The President of the Latin American Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Robert Debbaghe said when asked Infobae: “The application of The booster dose will allow children in Argentina to have greater protection to avoid the risk of being hospitalized and developing multisystem inflammatory syndrome and other problems caused by prolonged COVID. The booster could be a dose of messenger RNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna.

US approval for a third pediatric dose is only for the Pfizer company (REUTERS)
US approval for a third pediatric dose is only for the Pfizer company (REUTERS)

January 20, the National Administration of Drugs, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) authorized the use of the laboratory’s COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer/BioNTech for children between 5 and 11 years old. But both ANMAT and the Nation’s Ministry of Health have not yet authorized the third dose in general.

Arguing in favor of the recalls, Dr. Jesse Hackell, pediatrician and chapter president of the American Academy of Pediatrics in New York State, said, “I still think we must do everything we can to prevent illness in children, both because some of them will become seriously ill and have long-term complications from COVID infection, like because many more will be able to spread the disease to those who might be at greater risk.

Hackell explained – in dialogue with Daryl Austin, reporter for the Today Show in the United States – that There seems to be a “false dichotomy” from some who oppose COVID-19 vaccines by treating it differently from other diseases that similarly pose small but real risks to children. “It’s not that we’re going to save the lives of millions of children by vaccinating everyone, but that we vaccinate and force vaccination against other diseases that are mild for most children, such as chickenpox, mumps, pneumococcus and even poliomyelitis, because otherwise a small number of children could suffer devastating consequences and no child should suffer from a preventable disease,” he said.

We must do all we can to prevent illness in children, both because some of them will get serious illness and have long-term complications from COVID infection (Getty Images)
We must do all we can to prevent illness in children, both because some of them will get serious illness and have long-term complications from COVID infection (Getty Images)

The CDC’s Amanda Cohn, MD, noted that while boosters may be available for adults, it’s unclear if they will be available for children, as it’s a “different formulation” of the vaccine. . Sarah Long, MD, of Drexel University in Philadelphia, reiterated her position that this vaccine was not intended to prevent transmission. Although he voted yes, he wanted a series of caveats added about how long they had been exposed to COVID. “It’s wishful thinking that three doses are the deal,” Long said. “The vaccines we have now with the spike protein are a dumb answer in that you get a boost, but we’ve seen… the immunogenicity of the boost fade.”

The CDC currently recommends that all people infected with COVID wait 3 months before receiving a vaccine. From the Argentine Society of Vaccinology and Epidemiology (SAVE), they warned that children should be vaccinated because they can catch and transmit the virus like adults. “While it is true that the majority of children go through COVID-19 asymptomatically or with mild symptoms, some of them may have persistent symptoms. In the case of children with underlying diseases, as well as those under the age of one, they may suffer from severe forms of the disease and require hospitalization.

The aim of vaccination is to reduce the risk of serious forms of the disease, hospitalizations and death. It is also a way to prevent multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) due to COVID-19, an exacerbated inflammatory response that can occur in children without underlying diseases after having the infection,” they concluded.

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