Baby Dies of COVID in Georgia Ahead of FDA Decision on Vaccinating Under 5s

Georgia has revealed that an infant has died as a result of COVID, the second infant death in the state from the virus.

The death, announced on Wednesday, comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awaits emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to administer the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to children between six months and five years of age.

According to an outline posted online by the CDC, should approval be received the plan is to roll out around 10 million vaccine doses for children.

The report states: "Currently, planning is for a sequenced rollout involving an initial total of approximately 10 million doses. This will be split into two separate thresholds, with 5 million doses each."

The CDC says that jurisdictions should plan their ordering strategy now and identify priority locations to vaccinate children ages six months to four years old, similar to preparations that were made for the roll-out of vaccines for five to 11-year-olds.

"Importantly, this vaccine is specifically formulated for kids under the age of five. So, we're working closely with states, local health departments, pediatricians, families, doctors, and pharmacies to ensure the vaccine is available at thousands of locations nationwide." Jeff Zients, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, said in a press conference on February 2. "So we will be prepared for those parents that are eager to get their kids vaccinated."

The FDA will meet on February 15 to discuss the emergency authorization request by Pfizer and BioNTech to administer their vaccine to children under five. Once the FDA authorizes emergency use, CNN reported that the CDC independent vaccine advisory group will convene to authorize the distribution of the vaccine which was approved for use for five to 11-year-olds at the beginning of November 2021.

The dose of vaccine for six-month-olds to four-year-olds will be smaller than doses for older children and adults, at 3 micrograms. The plan currently outlined is to administer the vaccine in two doses, but CNN reported that Pfizer and BioNTech are preparing data to submit on a third dose over the coming months.

As of yet, authorities in Georgia have released very little information about the state's second infant mortality as a result of COVID other than the fact the child was Black, WSB-TV 2 reported.

The first infant mortality in Georgia as a result of COVID occurred in December 2021. The 4-month-old from Houston County had a chronic underlying condition according to health officials. It is not known if the second infant also had underlying health conditions.

The announcement of the death of the infant on Wednesday followed the announcement that a 15-year-old from Long County had died from COVID made by Georgia Department of Health on Tuesday, meaning two children had died in the state within a 48-hour period WSB-TV 2 reported.

Baby Incubator
A stock image of a baby in an incubator. As the U.S. plans to roll out COVID vaccinations for children aged between six months to five years old Georgia reports its second child COVID death in 48 hours. Kwangmoozaa/GETTY