The United States kicked off its Covid-19 vaccination campaign for under-fives on Tuesday. This new step has been welcomed by some parents, eager to protect their children from the worst consequences of the virus.

“We are thrilled,” said a mother who came to vaccinate her two three-year-old boys in Houston, Texas. One of his twins underwent three open-heart surgeries as an infant. “He is very high risk, so we lived in a little bubble [pendant la pandémie] “explains the mother. “Now he has a little armor that helps him a lot. »

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A first for messenger RNA vaccines

“This is a historic step, a monumental step forward,” said Joe Biden on Tuesday, as millions of doses were deployed across the country. ” [Pour] the first time in our fight against this pandemic, nearly every American can access life-saving vaccines. »

The US Medicines Agency (FDA) had given the green light to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for babies, children and adolescents from 6 months of age in mid-June. Only Pfizer was authorized until then for those over five years old. In the aftermath, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), which forms the main health agency in the country, recommended them this Saturday.

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A handful of countries (Argentina, Bahrain, Chile, China, Cuba, Hong Kong, Venezuela) already offered anti-Covid vaccination for children, but never with mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna). The European Medicines Agency is currently reviewing the Moderna vaccine for use in children under six and may follow the US decision.

Vaccination still controversial

Children 6 months to 4 years of age are not at as much risk as adults from infection. But the scale of the contaminations has led to more than 45,000 hospitalizations and nearly 500 deaths in this category of the population in the United States since the start of the pandemic.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey in May, only one in five parents of children under five were eager to get their offspring vaccinated. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis refused to place an order with the government for vaccines for the youngest children, “who have zero risk of catching anything”, according to him.

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“Now is not the time to play politics,” retorted US President Joe Biden after this decision. “It’s about empowering parents to do whatever they can to keep kids safe. »

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