Doctors prepare for authorization of COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5

If the vaccine passes review processes, the Biden administration has announced plans to roll out the first vaccines as early as the week of June 20.

CHARLOTTE, NC – This week the Food and drug administration and Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention will consider whether to authorize and recommend the first COVID-19 vaccines for children under five.

This vaccine would be intended for children aged six months to four years.

Charlotte-area doctors plan to closely monitor the approval process.

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“Over the next few days, there will be a fair amount of information about vaccines for children under five,” said Dr. Katie Passaretti, the company’s vice president and chief epidemiologist for Atrium Health, said. “Certainly it’s an important population to get vaccinated, review data and safety data.”

If the vaccine passes the review processes, the The Biden administration has announced its plans to deploy the first vaccines the week of June 20.

The White House said it will have ten million doses initially with more in the coming weeks.

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It plans to distribute vaccines with an emphasis on making vaccines available in convenient places that parents and families know and trust, such as pediatricians’ offices and primary care providers, hospitals and children’s health systems, state and local public health clinics and sites, and pharmacies.

Mecklenburg County Public Health is preparing for the possibility that the vaccine for this age group will pass the review process.

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“Hopefully they will be available this month, which would then allow us to say that we have pretty much universal vaccine coverage for everyone in our community in terms of availability,” said Dr Raynard Washington. , director of public health for Mecklenburg County. “We are now preparing with our partners to ensure that we are ready to provide these vaccines as soon as they are available.”

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With the spike in COVID-19 cases in the Carolinas due to Omicron subvariants, doctors said they were seeing infections among all groups, including young children.

“They represent a good portion of the population that we need to protect and also kind of prevent them from spreading to other high-risk groups,” Passaretti said.

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WCNC Charlotte is one of seven major media companies and other local institutions reporting on and engaging the community around issues and solutions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. Find all our reports on charlottejournalism.org.

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Lance B. Holton