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Kids Six Months to Five Years Old Can Now Receive Covid-19 Vaccine

The wait is over for those who want to vaccinate children who are between the ages of six months to five years old.

As of Tuesday, children in this age bracket are approved to receive the vaccine against COVID-19.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration expanded on its emergency use authorizations for Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA vaccines for this age bracket. The Moderna vaccine had its emergency authorization use amended to also allow individuals from 6 months to 17 years and the Pfizer/BioNTech, which was already available to kids 5 and older, was cleared for minors who are 6 months to 4 years old.

“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,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. said in a statement following the decision. “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.”

Similar to both teens and adults, vaccines are considered equally safe and effective. However, there are slight differences in the dosages and timing when it comes to age groups.

The Moderna vaccine is administered in two doses, each a month apart and a third booster for immunocompromised recipients in the age group a month following their second dose.

As for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, it is given in three doses, with the first two given three weeks apart and the third eight weeks following the second for people in the 6 months to 4 years age bracket.

The CDC noted in its announcement recommending the vaccines for younger children that these vaccines “have undergone—and will continue to undergo—the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.” 

“As with all vaccines for any population, when authorizing COVID-19 vaccines intended for pediatric age groups, the FDA ensures that our evaluation and analysis of the data is rigorous and thorough,” Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said in a statement. “In addition to making certain the data for these vaccines met FDA’s rigorous standards, the agency’s convening of an advisory committee was part of a transparent process to help the public have a clear understanding of the safety and effectiveness data supporting the authorization of these two vaccines for pediatric populations.”

Parents are advised to speak to their child’s pediatrician if they questions about the vaccine.

The CDC also informed the public that the distribution of the vaccines had already been planned out since last year. There are appointments available at thousands of pediatric healthcare practices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and local clinics.

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