COVID-19: US approves Pfizer and Moderna jabs for kids as young as 6 months
The United States has approved Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines for children as young as six months. The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorisation Friday (June 17) for the use of Pfizer and Moderna jabs in the youngest children. This age group is the final age group that is awaiting immunisation against the deadly COVID-19 in most countries. This means almost every person in the US is now eligible for vaccination.
"Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to six months of age," Food and Drug Administration chief Robert Califf said in a statement.
"We expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of Covid-19, such as hospitalisation and death."
The agency authorized Moderna's two-dose vaccine for children aged six months to five years, and three doses of Pfizer's shots for those between six months and four years old.
The decision was announced after the FDA's committee of independent vaccine experts voted unanimously to recommend the jabs. In a lengthy meeting on Wednesday, the committee analysed the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.
However, it must be recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before they are put into use. Meanwhile, the US government has said that as soon as the FDA decision is made, 10 million doses could immediately be sent around the country, followed by millions more in subsequent weeks.
As mentioned by NBC News, the White House expects vaccinations to begin as soon as Tuesday.
There are some 20 million children aged four years and under in the United States.