Health

CDC Panel Adds COVID Shot To Kids’ Routine Vaccine Schedule

(Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) panel of expert vaccine advisers voted Thursday to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the children’s immunization schedule.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted by a count of 15-0 to add the COVID-19 shots to the immunization schedule, which is a recommended list of vaccines for pediatricians to give children at certain points throughout their development. The addition itself does not mandate that any children receive the vaccine; however, a number of states follow the CDC recommendations when developing their vaccination requirements for public schools.

Children between the ages of six months and 18 years should receive a two-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, according to the committee. The immunization schedule does not include a suggestion for boosters, although the CDC already recommends children aged five and older receive a bivalent booster for the virus.

Reaction to the decision was mixed. Some healthcare professionals criticized the move as unnecessary, and argued it would undermine confidence in other vaccines on the schedule. Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California at San Francisco, said there is “no convincing evidence” the vaccine will help the vast majority of kids who have already been infected with COVID-19.

Others disagree. Dr. Paul Offit, co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Daily Caller he supports the move. “Three to four million children are born every year who are susceptible” to COVID-19, he said, adding that more than 1,000 children have died with COVID-19 during the pandemic, according to CDC data. (RELATED: Fauci-Funded Scientist Engineers New COVID-19, Deadlier Than Omicron, In Boston Lab)

Interest in the COVID-19 vaccines for young children has been low so far. Fewer than one million kids under age five have completed their primary series of COVID-19 vaccination, according to the CDC. However, many states base their school vaccination requirements on CDC recommendation, so Thursday’s decision may lead to a sharp increase in the number of kids who are vaccinated against the coronavirus.