Health and Beauty

Youngsters with a earlier Covid an infection ought to nonetheless get vaccinated

A 10-year-old child will receive the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 5-11 year old children on November 2, 2021 at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut.

Joseph Precious | AFP | Getty Images

Infants with Covid antibodies due to a previous infection should still be fully vaccinated, recommended Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday.

As with many other infectious diseases, people who were previously infected with Covid are to a certain extent protected from re-infection, said Walensky, but scientists still do not know how long this immunity lasts or how robust it is.

A CDC study published on Friday that examined more than 7,000 people hospitalized with Covid-like illnesses found that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offered better protection against the coronavirus than a previous infection. Unvaccinated people who had recovered from Covid were about five times more likely to test positive for Covid than people who had received both shots of an mRNA vaccine and had no previously documented infection, according to the study.

“That is why we strongly recommend that children, including children who have had the disease before, get vaccinated,” said Walensky on Wednesday during a press conference in the White House on the pandemic.

Walensky’s comments came the day after she approved the distribution of doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to children ages 5-11. According to the White House, up to 28 million children in the United States are now eligible to be vaccinated.

Children generally suffer less from severe cases of Covid than adults, but a small proportion of them do, public health officials and pediatricians say.

According to the CDC on Tuesday, there have been at least 1.9 million Covid cases in the age group, 8,300 hospital admissions and at least 94 deaths. At least 2,316 of them have suffered from multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C, a rare but serious Covid-related complication, according to the agency.

Federal scientists estimate that up to 40% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 are already infected with Covid.

The Biden government said it had procured enough vaccine to vaccinate all 28 million 5-11 year olds in the U.S. and will be distributing it in smaller doses and with smaller needles to make it easier for pediatricians and pharmacists to get to children administer.

The government began moving 15 million cans from Pfizer’s freezers and facilities to distribution centers last week pending approval from the CDC.

Jeff Zients, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said Wednesday that “millions more cans” will be shipped to cities and towns across the country in the next 24 hours. Packaging and shipping will continue over the weekend and into next week, with doses arriving at thousands of vaccination sites in every state, tribe and territory, he said.

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