Children under age 5 may soon be getting access to both the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines after a Food and Drug Administration panel found both shots safe for the age group.
The FDA commissioner and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will have to approve the committee’s decisions so kids can have access to the shot as soon as next week. The panel voted unanimously 21-0 to approve the vaccines for the children.
“We’ve got to be transparent about the real risks of COVID-19 for children. Tens of millions of children in this age group have been infected and have done just fine,” committee member Dr. James Hildreth, CEO of Meharry Medical College, in Nashville, told USA Today. “For those parents who choose to do so, especially those parents of kids that have underlying conditions, this is a choice they should have and I’m pleased that they’ll have it.”
According to the FDA, more than 200 children have died from Covid-19 infections. Half of the children hospitalized from Covid had pre-existing conditions.
The Biden administration already pre-ordered 10 million vaccine doses for the age group — half Moderna, half Pfizer — which could become available starting Tuesday if the CDC approves the vaccines this Saturday.
Unlike adults who receive two 100-microgram doses of the Moderna vaccine, children between six months and six years old would receive two 25-microgram doses, and then a 10-microgram booster.
If the Pfizer vaccine is approved for the age group, they’d receive three 3-microgram doses. (Adults get two 30-microgram doses and a 10-microgram booster.)