The FDA has authorized the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine for kids as young as six months. In a press conference Friday, Dr. Peter Marks, who oversees the FDA’s vaccine department, said the vaccines are safe and effective.
“We at FDA understand the gravity of making decisions that affect the lives of children,. And we are acutely aware of the trust bestowed upon us by the American people,” he said. “Parents, caregivers and health care providers can trust that both of these vaccines have been authorized with science and safety at the forefront of our minds.”
This news comes as parents of young children eagerly await shots to protect their kids. Right now, children under 5 are the only age group unable to get shots.
On Wednesday, the FDA’s committee of independent experts voted to recommend the Moderna vaccine, which is a two-dose shot, for kids under 6 and Pfizer, a three-dose shot, for kids under age 5. The votes were unanimous.
After the vaccines are recommended by the CDC, distribution in doctors’ offices, clinics and pharmacies across the county. After that, vaccines will start shipping out over the weekend and if all goes well, kids could begin getting their shots early next week.
Pfizer-BioNTech released a study last month saying that its COVID vaccine is safe for kids ages 6 months to 5 years. The study of approximately 1,700 children showed the vaccine to be 80% protective during the omicron wave. Most adverse reactions were mild or moderate.
The company has been testing their COVID vaccine in kids under five since last year. Research showed that a two-shot regimen was not enough to be protective, so a third shot was added. This three-dose regimen was shown to be effective, said the company.
The US has plenty of supplies of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines specifically formulated for young kids, and the federal government says they plan to make 10 million doses available to pharmacies and health centers. The White House is asking states to distribute shots to the highest risk children first.
Keep up with the latest COVID-19 news that affects parents and kids.