The CDC changed routine immunization schedules to include COVID vaccines for both adults and children.
Officials at the public health agency now recommend that children between six months and 15 months old receive a two-dose or three-dose primary series and booster; from 18 months to adulthood, children should likewise receive the primary series and boosters, according to the agency. Children more than six months old can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna vaccine, while children more than 12 years old can also receive the Novavax vaccine. The CDC recommended the three-dose series for children who are “moderately or severely immunocompromised.”
Vaccination schedules for adults also recommend two-dose or three-dose primary series and boosters. COVID vaccines were placed in a distinct call out box in previous schedules; this year is the first in which the inoculations are considered routine.
The CDC noted that the doses are not covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, an “alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury claims.” The agency added that COVID vaccines fall under the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).
The changes to the routine vaccination schedules come after pharmaceutical companies revealed plans to drastically increase the costs of the products. Pfizer President Angela Lukin announced in October that the firm would charge between $110 and $130 per dose, although the treatment will be available at no cost to Americans with private or government insurance. The price hike will render the doses several times more expensive; the federal government bought 105 million doses for $3.2 billion in one deal, implying a cost of roughly $30 per dose.
Oxfam America previously said that Pfizer and Moderna had been “charging governments as much as $41 billion above the estimated cost of production” since the shots can be produced for as little as $1.20 per dose. Lawmakers such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have expressed concern over the significant markups and their effects on federal healthcare budgets.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla had said that he hopes COVID will be “controlled” by annual vaccinations and pills for individuals who contract the virus. “We will have perfectly normal lives, with just an injection maybe once a year. And the pill in case we are sick will make it more flu-like rather than life-threatening disease,” he said during an interview last year, contending that “two doses of the vaccine offers very limited protection, if any.”
The addition of COVID vaccines to the routine immunization schedule occurs shortly after Project Veritas journalists captured Jordon Walker, a Pfizer official who leads research and development for mRNA projects, admitting that the company does not know why the vaccines are impacting women’s menstrual cycles, postulating that the effects could be evidence of hormonal disruptions. “There is something irregular about their menstrual cycles. So, people will have to investigate that down the line, because that is a little concerning,” he told an undercover reporter. “The vaccine shouldn’t be interfering with that.”
Researchers have indeed found that COVID vaccines impact menstruation; one international study from the Oregon Health and Science University concluded that “some people may experience a slight, temporary change in the length of their monthly menstrual cycle” after receiving the vaccine. Another study found that 42% of women with regular menstrual cycles reported heavier bleeding than usual after inoculation.
Walker, who later called himself a “liar” who made up the stories to impress a person with whom he thought he was on a date, said the vaccine should not be interfering with the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, the system which regulates menstrual cycles, but acknowledged “there is something happening, but we don’t always figure it out.”