Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
A child is vaccinated at a Children's Medical Center in Jerusalem, August 18, 2013.

The Israeli government is preparing for a vaccination campaign for children following the anticipated US Food and Drug Administration’s approval. The plan is to start vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 soon after the approval by the US regulatory agency.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Tuesday that they had submitted their data to the FDA showing that their coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11. Similar requests are expected to be filed with European health regulators as well as other countries.

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Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive, said the FDA “should take as much time as they think is appropriate for them,” stating that “it’s not appropriate for me to comment how long the FDA would take to review the data.”

Last week, Pfizer and BioNTech announced their clinical trial with more than 2,200 participants aged 5 to 11 showed favorable results. Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s top vaccine regulator, the agency would analyze the data as soon as possible, and that barring “surprises,” it would authorize vaccinating children over 5 in “a matter of weeks, not months.”

A senior Israeli healthcare official told Kan 11 News that in the coming days there will be a significant jump in booster immunization due to the change in the Green Tag policy as of October 3. He estimated that hundreds of thousands of Israelis who were not vaccinated in the third dose would do so.

The Pfizer and BioNTech request to authorize vaccinating children follows a spike in morbidity among children, which peaked in early September.

According to the latest monthly survey on vaccine attitudes by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: September 2021), more than seven in ten US adults (72%) now report being at least partially vaccinated, with the surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the Delta variant being the main motivator.

The largest increases in vaccine uptake between July and September were among Hispanic adults and those ages 18-29, and similar shares of adults now report being vaccinated across racial and ethnic groups (71% of White adults, 70% of Black adults, and 73% of Hispanic adults). Large gaps in vaccine uptake remain by partisanship, education level, age, and health insurance status.

The report also suggests that the public appears resigned to a future in which COVID-19 remains present in our lives and would be managed like the seasonal flu. Eight in ten (79%) believe COVID-19 is something the US will learn to live with, and while the public is divided over whether they would be satisfied or dissatisfied with this outcome, few say they would feel either enthusiastic (5%) or angry (15%) if the disease is here to stay and would be managed with vaccines, with some people still getting sick and dying every year but most able to return to their normal activities.

Personally, I’d love to meet those 5% who are made enthusiastic about this prospect, and not at all those other 15%.

In Israel, there are 660 Corona patients in serious condition, out of whom 285 are critical, and 227 are on ventilators. 5,159 tested positive on Tuesday, out of 135,349 (3.87%). 7,692 have died since the outbreak of the pandemic in February 2020.

In the US, 692,975 have died from Corona, 51,791 of them over the past 28 days. There have been 3,908,393 positive tests in the US over the past 28 days. Los Angeles County has 1,456,275 confirmed patients, followed by Maricopa, Arizona with 690,451, and Miami-Dade with 663,737 confirmed cases.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.