On Monday, April 25, FDA approved the first COVID-19 treatment for children less than 12 years of age. Remdesivir (brand name Veklury) is now an approved treatment for children 28 days or older and weighing about 7 pounds with a positive COVID-19 test. This treatment can be used in hospitalized or non-hospitalized children that have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and are at risk for severe COVID-19 illness.

Which children are at risk for severe COVID-19 illness?

Like adults, some children are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. These can include:

  • Children with certain underlying medical conditions, including chronic lung diseases such as asthma
  • Children who are immunocompromised
  • Children that are obese

Children without underlying medical conditions can also get seriously ill from COVID-19.

What is remdesivir?

Remdesivir is an antiviral injection that can help your child’s immune system fight off COVID-19 infection, with a goal of preventing serious illness. Antivirals work best when they are started early in the course of illness, typically five days from when your child begins feeling ill. Because of this, it is important to talk to your child’s healthcare provider as soon as possible after testing positive for COVID-19.

Why is it important to have treatment available for kids?

COVID-19 can cause serious illness, including hospitalization and death, in children of all ages and those under the age of 5 do not yet have the option for vaccination. There is a need for safe and effective treatments in children under 12 who have severe illness from COVID-19 or are at risk of severe illness. Treatment for COVID-19 in children is not a replacement for vaccination, and parents are urged to have their child vaccinated against COVID-19 if eligible.

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