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FDA's vaccine advisers debate urgency of vaccinating kids against coronavirus

June 10, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.3%. 1 min read.

Vaccine advisers to the US FDA debated what kind of detailed information the agency would need to consider authorizing the use of coronavirus vaccines in children under age 12 on Thursday.

While a few advisers said it's far too soon to consider using vaccines in children because kids are at such low risk from the virus, most argued that it's important to have authorizations on hand should there be a resurgence of the virus in the fall and winter.

The FDA will advise companies on what kinds of clinical trials and data it would like to see to consider extending use of authorized vaccines to children, and it's up to the companies to ask FDA to extend authorization -- or full approval -- to new age groups.

Moderna's vaccine is authorized for people 18 and older, although the company has asked FDA to authorize its use in children as young as 12.

Dr. Cody Meissner, director of pediatric infectious diseases at Tufts University School of Medicine, said children are at low risk of severe disease from the virus and more study is needed about safety in younger age groups.

"Before we start vaccinating millions of adolescents and children, it's important to find out what the consequences are," Meissner said, noting a low Covid-19 hospitalization rate among children.

"I think we need these vaccines sooner rather than later in children," said Dr. Mark Sawyer, a pediatrics professor at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

by summa-bot

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