This article appeared in CNN. Read the full article here.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on Covid-19 vaccinations for children under 5 on Saturday, clearing the way for vaccinations to be administered soon.
This move comes after vaccine advisers to the CDC voted unanimously on Saturday in support of recommending the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to children as young as 6 months.
“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,” Walensky said in a statement. “I encourage parents and caregivers with questions to talk to their doctor, nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the benefits of vaccinations and the importance of protecting their children by getting them vaccinated.”
Vaccinations may not begin until Tuesday in some places.
President Joe Biden praised the CDC’s decision to recommend the vaccines on Saturday.
“Today is a monumental step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus, with virtually every American now eligible for the protections that COVID-19 vaccines provide,” Biden said in a written statement, adding: “For parents all over the country, this is a day of relief and celebration.”
Walensky signed off on the administration of two doses of Moderna’s vaccine in children ages six months to 5 years, and three doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in children ages six months to 4 years. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) noted on Saturday that if any Pfizer vaccine is given, then the vaccination series needs to contain three doses.
“We’ll be monitoring inventory as the vaccines are delivered starting Monday to clinics, pharmacies and other clinical settings to determine when the search for the under-five vaccines will be available on vaccines.gov,” Dr. Kevin Chatham-Stephens, the Pediatric Vaccine Planning and Implementation Lead with the CDC’s Vaccine Task Force, said in ACIP’s meeting.
“Parents and caregivers can reach out to the child’s pediatrician or family practice doctor or a local health department, pharmacy, et cetera to ask if they have the vaccine, understanding that not every clinic or pharmacy will get their vaccine on Monday.”