SALEM, OR -- The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has unanimously approved Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months old, clearing the way for those doses to be available in Oregon. "The US Food and Drug Administration has recommended expanding Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer Biotech vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years, and the Moderna vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years," State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger told reporters Friday.
Dr. Dawn Nolt, an OHSU professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases, says research on the proper dosage for young children was extensive, "You know, we wish the vaccine process was quicker for kids. But, thankfully today we’re here now and we have two vaccine products." She says many families continue to isolate and mask because of the risk to unvaccinated children, "According to the CDC, children did not fair very well during the Omicron wave. There were a lot of hospitalizations, particularly for those under five years of age. And, for our state of Oregon, those under four years of age have had the highest hospitalization rate since Omicron really surged, and that’s likely because those kids under four years of age don’t have the vaccine available."
The Oregon Health Authority believes the latest rise of COVID cases has peaked in the state, although there is still high community spread.