The Centers for Disease Control officially gave the green light for COVID-19 vaccines for babies and preschoolers Saturday, clearing the final hurdles for the long awaited shots.
Shortly after an advisory panel to the CDC voted 12-0 in favor of the vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky gave her approval for the shots.
“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,” Walensky tweeted.
The move means nearly 20 million more kids are now eligible for the vaccine.
President Biden in a statement said “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.”
“For parents all over the country, this is a day of relief and celebration,” he said.
He urged parents to speak with their child’s pediatrician to make a vaccination plan.
“This infection kills children and we have an opportunity to prevent that,” Beth Bell, one of the doctors on the CDC advisory panel, said following the vote. “Here is an opportunity to prevent a known risk.”
The Food and Drugs Administration authorized the shots Friday. The Modern vaccine is for children 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer’s shot is for those 6 months to 4 years.
The vaccines are expected to begin rolling out next week.