FDA & CDC Approved Covid-19 Vaccines for Kids Ages 5 and Younger: What Parents Need to Know
After over 2 years since the start of this pandemic and 1 and a half years since the first round of Americans were eligible for a vaccine, our youngest kids are now able to get some protection against this virus!
On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized COVID-19 vaccines for kids as young as 6 months old. This authorization was then brought to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where vaccine advisers voted unanimously in support of recommending shots for little ones. Now 18 million little ones across the United States are eligible to receive their first doses as early as Tuesday.
This announcement comes after vaccine advisers voted unanimously on Wednesday to recommend authorization for both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for kids ages 5 and younger.
“We unfortunately have left a very large group of our population vulnerable to this virus with no protection for so long. I think we have a lot of parents that have just been dying to get their children vaccinated,” said Pediatric Physician Advisor at VIP StarNetwork, Dr. Sandra Bonat.
“Families have had to make huge sacrifices, especially families who have people living with them, maybe grandparents that are compromised or other people who are ill that don’t want their children getting sick and exposing their elderly grandparent or somebody that’s at higher risk of the disease. I just think that it’s a very welcomed decision, long coming.”
In a press release from the CDC discussing this unanimous vote, CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, said, “Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19. We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can.”
Talks of approval of the Covid vaccine for young kids has been going on for months, but Bonat said scientist wanted to make sure they had enough research and data to support their findings.
“It’s sort of our most precious age group I think and I really think that they didn’t want to mess up for lack of a better term. I think that they wanted to be really sure that the vaccine was going to be safe and it was going to have good efficacy and good protection.”
Many parents might be wondering what the differences are between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Here is a breakdown of each vaccine for can families can decide which option would be best for them:
The Moderna Vaccine
The Moderna vaccines are available for kids ages 6 months through 5 years and are one-quarter the dose of the company’s adult shots.
According to AP News, two doses of this vaccine have been proven to protect kids from severe illness and have shown to be 40% to 50% effective at preventing mild infections.
Moderna is also expected to offer booster shots in the future.
The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine
The Pfizer vaccine is available for kids ages 6 months through 4 years and their vaccine is one-tenth the dose of their adult shot.
Another main difference with the Pfizer shot is there are 3 doses kids will need to take since they found during their testing that two shots didn’t provide enough protection.
The first two shots will be given three weeks apart and the third will be given at least two months after. Data submitted from the company shows that 3 shots were 80% effective in preventing symptomatic coronavirus infections.
For more information when it comes to Covid-19 in Kids, Check out COVID-19 in Kids Update: Expert Weighs in On Rising Cases, Vaccine Updates, and Preparing for Upcoming Travel Season