On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech’ Covid vaccines for children. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to consent before the shots can be given.
According to a statement, the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for children ages 6 months to 4 years. The Moderna vaccine was authorized for children ages 6 months to 5 years.
In addition, Moderna’s vaccine for children ages 6 to 17 was also authorized. Previously, kids in the age group were the only ones in the country unable to get vaccinated. Now, the decision will be evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee.
The committee will meet Friday and vote Saturday to decide how the vaccines should be used for children younger than 5. If CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signs off on it, shots for babies and toddlers could start as soon as next week.
On Wednesday, the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee recommended that the agency approve both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the nation’s youngest children.
In a statement, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf said:
“Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to 6 months of age. As we have seen with older age groups, we expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death,” “Those trusted with the care of children can have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these COVID-19 vaccines and can be assured that the agency was thorough in its evaluation of the data.”
The FDA and the CDC maintain they have several systems in place to continually monitor Covid vaccine safety and allow for the timely detection and investigation of potential safety concerns.