What We're Reading: COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Young Children; OTC Medication Recalled; Bipartisan Support for Foreign Medication Imports

The FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5 years; more than 400,000 over-the-counter (OTC) medications were recalled; medication imports from Canada and the United Kingdom see bipartisan approval in the Senate.

FDA Approves COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Under 5

The FDA approved both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for use in children under the age of 5 years on Friday, according to a press release. The move comes 18 months after the first vaccines were made available to the general public. The approval by the FDA follows the unanimous recommendation from the advisory panel to the FDA. An advisory panel to the CDC is set to meet on Friday and Saturday before CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, will issue a recommendation, which is the final step before vaccine rollout begins. Pfizer claims that its vaccine is 80% effective when 3 doses are taken.

400,000 Over-The-Counter Medications Recalled

The recall of more than 400,000 bottles of over-the-counter medicine was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Thursday. The recalled medications include 137,300 units of Walgreens brand acetaminophen, 25,660 units of Kroger brand arthritis pain acetaminophen, 209,430 units of Kroger brand aspirin and ibuprofen, and 34,660 units of Kroger brand acetaminophen, according to The Hill. These medications were recalled due to their packaging not receiving child-proofing methods, making them a hazard to children who may swallow the contents. Product recalls are set to reach record numbers in the United States this year, with one report finding that companies had recalled more than 900 million product units in the first 3 months of 2022.

Importing Medication from Canada and United Kingdom Sees Bipartisan Support

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, proposed that an amendment to allow importation of medication from Canada and the United Kingdom—and other countries after 2 years—in a bill aimed at reauthorizing the FDA’s user fee program that’s set to expire on September 30. The amendment has received support from Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, according to Kaiser Health News. The amendment would allow medications such as insulin to be imported from other countries, where medication is often sold for less. However, the amendment was tabled and will not be included in the final FDA user fee bill.