The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added COVID-19 vaccines to its routine immunization schedule for children and adults on Thursday, attracting criticism for the decision.
According to the CDC’s 2023 immunization schedule for children and adolescents, two or three doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been recommended beginning with infants who are just six months old. Children in the age group of 6 months to four years, and five years to 11 years are recommended COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna or Pfizer. Among children aged 12 to 18, Novavax vaccines are also recommended in addition to Pfizer and Moderna.
In the list for adults, two or three doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been recommended from the age of 19 years. The 2023 COVID-19 vaccine recommendation for kids and adults is included among other typically-recommended vaccines for measles, flu, rubella, and so on.
Advisers to the CDC in 2022 recommended adding the vaccines to the schedule.
Though the CDC has added COVID-19 vaccines to the recommended list, it has not mandated the vaccines. The agency does not have the authorization to do so, but local and state jurisdictions can, and many mandate most of the vaccines on the schedule. However, there are hardly any states that make flu vaccinations mandatory in public schools.
Lawyers have said they’ll sue any state that requires COVID-19 vaccination to attend school and many officials have vowed not to implement such a requirement.
The CDC’s move to add COVID-19 vaccines to immunization schedules has attracted criticism online.
“While I thought impossible for @CDCgov to lose anymore credibility—they decide to do this despite growing studies showing declining efficacy, no net benefit for majority of immunocompetent” individuals, anesthesiologist Megan Martin said in a Feb. 10 tweet.
Vaccine Injury Compensation For COVID-19
The children’s vaccine schedule points out that COVID-19 vaccines are not covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions.
Instead, COVID-19 vaccines authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are covered by the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).