On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control officially recommended the COVID-19 vaccine for babies and preschoolers, the last group without the shot.
Following an advisory panel to the CDC voting 12-0 in favor of the vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer, Director Rochelle Walensky signed off on the panel’s recommendation.
“Today, I endorsed ACIP’s recommendation that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a #COVID19 vaccine. Parents, I strongly encourage you to get your children vaccinated against COVID-19,” she tweeted.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken?another important step?forward?in our nation’s fight against COVID-19,” she said in another statement.
On their website, the CDC noted “Distribution of pediatric vaccinations for these younger children has started across the country, and will be available at thousands of pediatric practices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health departments, clinics, and other locations this week”.
On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of COVID-19 vaccines for children five and under.
Pfizer’s vaccine was authorized for children ages 6 months to 4 years, while the Moderna shot was authorized for children ages 6 months to 17 years, according to the FDA.
“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,” President Biden said.
“For parents all over the country, this is a day of relief and celebration,” he added.
Approximately 18 million children will be eligible for the new vaccine.