A ten year old child high fives Pharmacist Colleen Teevan after he received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for kids at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut on Nov 2, 2021. (JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP)
LOS ANGELES / DUBLIN / MEXICO CITY – The United States is expected to start COVID-19 vaccination this week for children as young as 6 months old.
The CDC's advisory panel on Saturday unanimously recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years, as well as the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years
The plan came after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the shots for an additional 19 million children across the United States.
The CDC's advisory panel on Saturday unanimously recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years, as well as the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years.
"We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today's decision, they can," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a statement.
The CDC's move came a day after the US Food and Drug Administration amended emergency use authorizations for the two vaccines to include the youngest age group.
ALSO READ: COVID-19 vaccine rollout for US kids close after CDC vote
This was the last age group in the United States without access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
Since the pandemic began, more than 13.5 million US kids have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the latest report of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.
Although COVID-19 is normally less severe in children than adults, the virus can be life threatening for some kids. COVID-19 is the fifth leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 from March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2022, according to CDC data released on Friday.
In this file photo taken on March 25, 2021, people wait in a queue to receive a swab test for COVID-19 at a walk-in portable testing center operated by the ambulance service in Dublin. (PAUL FAITH / AFP)
Ireland's health authorities said as of 8 am on Monday, there were 606 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the country, an increase of 153 people, or 33.77 percent, compared with a week ago, putting increased pressure on hospitals.
Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer of the Health Service Executive (HSE), a state agency responsible for public health services, told local media on Monday that the rise in the number of COVID-19 people in hospitals is largely driven by a sub-type of the Omicron variant and over 70 percent of the confirmed cases now in Ireland is caused by this sub-type.
He said that this new variant of the virus does not seem to be more virulent or aggressive though it is more transmissible.
He said that the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in intensive care units has remained stable despite a spike in the COVID-19 hospitalizations in the country over the past week.
He also said that over half of the COVID-19 patients in hospitals have not received their booster vaccines and more than a third have not even got vaccinated in the first place.
Mexico Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrad speaks at a US-Mexico-Canada trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 9th Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California on June 10, 2022. (CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Monday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would carry out his duties at home.
Ebrard said on Twitter that his symptoms were "nothing to worry about" and that he had not been in a regular cabinet meeting that morning.