While COVID-19 affects people of all ages, those under 12 years old have limited choices when it comes to vaccines but some pharmaceuticals are working to reverse this. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children from six months until 17 years of age, producing an immune response equivalent to that produced among those 18 years and older.
The FDA’s internal consulting group will now evaluate granting the emergency use of Moderna’s vaccine for children between six months and five years and between six and 17 years. The FDA informed that results for every age group were generally consistent. The vaccine was tested in children aged six months to five years during the time when the omicron variant was dominant. It was estimated to have a 36.8 percent efficacy against symptomatic disease in children aged between two and five years and 50.6 percent protection against symptomatic disease in children aged between six and 23 months.
Other pharmaceuticals are also waiting for FDA’s approval for COVID-19 vaccines for children under five years old. Pfizer, for example, has a vaccine for children five years and older but is waiting for FDA’s approval for the use of its vaccine among children under five years old, which it expects in June. On Sunday, the FDA stated that Pfizer’s vaccine is safe and effective for children under six months.
Mexico’s COFEPRIS, the organization responsible for authorizing vaccines in the country, authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use in children between five and eleven years old. This vulnerable group represents about 16.5 percent of the country’s population, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).
Unfortunately, over 1,000 children have died from COVID-19 in Mexico but authorities have prioritized the vaccination of other vulnerable groups, according to Hugo López-Gatell, Deputy Minister of Health.
In Mexico, over 209 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. About 79.9 million Mexicans are fully immunized, representing 62 percent of the Mexican population. Most of these vaccines have been applied to adults, as the country only recently began to immunize children above 12 years old. As COVID-19 cases grew over the past two weeks, children represent one of the groups most at risk due to their lack of previous immunization.