US drug agency OKs COVID vaccines for kids under 5, CDC to make final approval
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved on Friday Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 shots for children as young as six months of age.
Pfizer’s jab had previously been authorized for children as young as five, but Moderna’s had been limited to adults only. Both are now approved for anyone over half-a-year old, increasing eligibility for about 18 million people countrywide.
“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,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Final approval still needs to be granted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an advisory panel is convening on Friday with their final vote expected on Saturday. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will make the final decision.
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