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FDA authorizes COVID-19 vaccines for younger children

Virus Outbreak Vaccines Moderna
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 18:54:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in kids as young as six months Friday.

The Moderna vaccine is authorized for children 6 months through 17 years. Pfizer's vaccine is authorized for children 6 months through 4 years, making about 17 million kids under the age of 5 now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control still needs to sign off, and a vote is scheduled for Saturday.

Doctors continue to say vaccination is the best way to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at the University of Kansas Health System, said data shows about 75% of kids in the U.S. have likely had COVID-19 or been exposed.

He said the vaccine is one more way parents can protect their kids.

"If your child has been infected with SARS-CoV-2, it's extremely important to go get those two or three vaccine doses to help boost and maintain that immune response," Hawkinson said.

The White House said vaccinations may begin next week after CDC approval.

Local parent Michaela Schaal said she's glad there's been plenty of time to test and research the vaccine before authorizing it for little kids.

"It is good for parents who want that extra protection for their children," Schaal said. "It's really good news that they're able to get that and make that decision for their kids."

Schaal said she and her husband plan to home school their 18-month-old daughter Rose and want to wait for more research before deciding whether or not to get her vaccinated.

Karla, a local parent of five, said she's not against others getting vaccinated, but she's choosing to wait to vaccinate her kids.

"Just from working in the health field, I feel it's necessary to give it a couple years to see what kind of outcome comes from vaccines or any type of medication for that matter," Karla said.