The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization Friday for the use of Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines in the youngest children, the final age group awaiting immunization in most countries.
The agency, whose approval is considered the global gold standard, 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.
“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,” FDA chief Robert Califf said in a statement.
At a Senate hearing Thursday, the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. said her staff was working over the Juneteenth federal holiday weekend “because we understand the urgency of this for American parents.”
She said pediatric deaths from Covid have been higher than what is generally seen from the flu each year.
“So I actually think we need to protect young children, as well as protect everyone with the vaccine and especially protect elders,” she said.