WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Moderna is asking the FDA to let the country's youngest children get their COVID-19 vaccine. Kids under 4 years old have no vaccine protecting them against the virus, and Moderna wants to change that.
It can be hard to identify where we are at in the pandemic, but Nola Aigner Davis with the Polk County Health Department says we haven't reached the finish line. Most U.S. states including Iowa are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations
"Even though deaths remain low. this is a virus, this virus is not going away, we're going to continue to see it, we're just going to continue to see it at different levels, then compared to how we have seen it throughout the pandemic," Aigner Davis said.
Since Moderna asked the FDA to approve vaccinations for children under the age of 5, and since that announcement owner of Medicap in Urbandale John Forbes, pharmacies' phones have been ringing off the hook
"Unfortunately, I don't have the date yet, but I would anticipate some time during the mid to late part of may would be the most likely time we'll start giving this vaccine to children," Forbes said.
Moderna is hoping the FDA will make a decision in time for the summer, but the FDA hasn't hinted at when it may decided.
Aigner Davis said vaccination rates in Polk County are above the average for the state of Iowa.
"What we are seeing in Polk County is that there is about 74.3% of the population has at least one dose and 67.7% or at least are fully vaccinated," Aigner Davis said.
Forbes said with vaccinations being offered to young children the statewide vaccination rate can only improve.
"This will increase the rate, you know, we're in the 60% range right now. and with this population getting the vaccine, it might bump us up another 2%. and so that, again, reduces that risk of that virus passing," Aigner Davis said.
The FDA today says it will schedule a meeting to publicly debate Moderna's evidence with its advisers, but Moderna must submit more data. Moderna expects to do so next week.