CDC approves Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for little kids

The Centers for Disease Control fully approved COVID vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna for children age 5 and under on Saturday.

Shots could be in arms as soon as Monday.


A CDC advisory panel unanimously approved both vaccines Saturday, and agency director Rochelle Walensky gave her stamp of approval shortly afterward. The Food and Drug Administration had signed off on the vaccines Friday.

“Today, I endorsed ACIP’s recommendation that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” Walensky wrote in a tweet. “Parents, I strongly encourage you to get your children vaccinated against COVID-19.”


Though COVID usually affects children less than adults, about 480 kids under age 5 have died from the disease, according to federal data. Hospitalizations notably spiked among children during last winter’s omicron wave.

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The CDC panel did not recommend one shot over the other.

“Whatever vaccine your health care provider, pediatrician has, that’s what I would give my child,” FDA vaccine honcho Peter Marks said Friday.

The Pfizer vaccine for kids is about one-tenth of the adult dose. It will be available to children between 6 months and 4 years old and requires three shots over the course of three months.

The Moderna vaccine for kids is about one-quarter of the adult dose and requires two shots to complete the series. It will be available for kids between 6 months and 5 years old.

“It is worth vaccinating, even though the number of deaths are relatively rare, because these deaths are preventable through vaccination,” CDC panelist Dr. Matthew Daley said.

The Moderna vaccine was about 40% to 50% effective at preventing mild infection in clinical trials. In a limited number of cases, Pfizer’s vaccine was about 80% effective, but the experts said that estimate wasn’t reliable given the small amount of data.

With News Wire Services