Approving a second vaccine for teenagers could help convince more parents, some of whom have expressed reluctance to vaccinate their children, that the shots are safe, experts say. “Most parents vaccinate their children,” said Dr. O’Leary. “We saw a little more hesitation with the Covid vaccines, but the further we demonstrate safety and effectiveness, the more people want the vaccine.”
It would also give parents and teenagers a choice between vaccines, although experts found that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines appear to be equally safe and effective.
“It really gives parents a little more confidence,” said Rupali Limaye, an expert on vaccine use and hesitation at Johns Hopkins University. “For example, if you’ve had personal experiences with one of the mRNA products and not the other, you might feel more comfortable than saying, ‘You know, I’ve had a great experience with Moderna, so I really want mine Kid does it Get Moderna. ‘”
Because Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two vaccinations several weeks apart, ensuring that all adolescents have access to the vaccine can remain a challenge. “Unfortunately, I think we will still not be able to reach more underserved populations facing vaccine differences as it is still the two-dose regimen,” said Dr. Limaye. Approving a vaccine at a dose like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use in adolescents could help fill those gaps, she said.
The US already has enough doses to vaccinate teenagers many times over. The US Census Bureau estimates that there are approximately 25 million American children between the ages of 12 and 17. That’s roughly the same number of recordings Pfizer and Moderna distribute each week in the United States
“Right now we have more than enough supplies to vaccinate our teenagers,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York. “So it is not so very important that the Moderna vaccine is vital to the care of our population, but rather that a second vaccine for this age group goes online that could be available to the rest of the world – I think this is important.”
However, many other countries will not be ready to vaccinate their youngsters for some time. Although more than 1.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, there are huge inequalities between countries. 84 percent of the doses went to people in high and middle income countries. Only 0.3 percent went to low-income countries.