On Thursday, Dr. Denise Deveau, Chief Medical Officer of Health, for Toronto, Canada’s city, met with the country’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam to discuss her expectations in reviewing the complications reported by nearly 8,000 people after the vaccination, according to Dr. Deveau’s statement. Dr. Deveau has made it clear that she hopes to have the vaccines, COVID-19 for infants to the ages of six months, and COVID-22 for those aged six to 23 months, approved and offered for young children within the next three weeks, Reuters reports.
“Based on this review, I am confident that it is possible to get the booster vaccines recommended for six to 11-year-olds within a week, followed by the six to 13-year-olds within one to two weeks,” Dr. Deveau stated. She further explained that there are 13 separate aspects that would need to be reviewed, including the timing and duration of the vaccinations and the impact on children’s development. Since polio has become a rarity in the U.S., making COVID-19 and COVID-22 vaccine only slightly more effective, the U.S. has been primarily addressed. Therefore, there will be a wait-and-see moment in which the uptake of the vaccines will be highly dependent on how quickly all these changes take effect.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that the preterm infants in the U.S. have been receiving vaccines, scientists dispute that this is the case. Studies have shown that while the preterm babies may be receiving some vaccines, a large enough dose of these vaccines has not been found to be leading to a decrease in the rates of infant mortality. Dr. Deveau’s announcement about this being an urgent need would indicate that there are other countries that are in dire need of these vaccines.
“Given that pediatric age group has the highest opportunity for immunization, there’s an incredible need for us to make sure our immunization schedule takes care of these essential vaccines before they fall into the background,” added Dr. Deveau in the statement she released with Dr. Tam after meeting to discuss the cases of complications. “With a large population of infants under the age of three years old, this is why it’s important to make sure that families are provided with the vaccines they need.”
On October 23, the CDC issued an advisory that said that because of “several, unconfirmed and unknown” cases of complications after the vaccine, “new vaccines for these age groups should not be recommended to parents and infants until the ongoing investigation is completed.” However, the agency has noted that the vaccine is safe for infants in the U.S. if the child is receiving the six-and-older dosage.
Read the full story at Reuters.
*Illustrative image via Wikipedia/Public Domain