Safe and effective COVID vaccines are available for free to just about everyone in the US — except for babies and toddlers. Last week, the FDA was expected to authorize the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years old, but plans abruptly changed.
Clinical trials had suggested that two doses of the vaccine, which is 3 micrograms or one-third the adult dose, worked for babies ages 6 months to one year. However, in kids ages 2 to 5, the vaccine, although safe, didn’t offer enough protection against COVID.
So on Friday, the FDA announced it was postponing its meeting (originally scheduled for Feb. 15) as Pfizer has requested more time to review the efficacy of a third dose of the vaccine. (The first two doses are given 21 days apart and a third dose two months later.)
Now it seems likely that babies and toddlers won’t have a COVID vaccine for months as Pfizer and BioNTech won't have their data on third doses until April, despite the fact that federal health officials thought they might be available by the end of February.
The news came at the same time that many states, including New York, New Jersey, and California, announced they were ending at least some of their mandates to wear masks indoors. Still, mandates vary widely within states; some city leaders are choosing to keep or remove face mask rules independently of their state’s decisions.
Did the delay in vaccines for babies and toddlers make you feel disappointed? Frustrated? Relieved?
How is it having an impact on your daily life?
Do you have to make rearrangements with future childcare, school plans, or your job because you need to push through several more months of protecting your unvaccinated child as best you can?
Maybe the news doesn’t mean much to you because you weren’t planning on vaccinating your kid against COVID anyway. Or maybe you’ve been doing well enough practicing other preventive measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
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