FDA signs off on COVID vax for kids under 5

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday gave the green light to COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and younger, a key step toward making the shots available for the youngest children.

  • The agency authorized the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for kids ages 6 months to 4 years old, as well as a vaccine from Moderna for kids up to age 5.
  • More than a year and a half since COVID-19 vaccines began rolling out for adults, kids under 5 are the last group eligible to be vaccinated. There are about 18 million of them eligible.

“Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to 6 months of age. As we have seen with older age groups, we expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement.


With the authorization, vaccines can start being shipped to states and other jurisdictions that preordered the initial batch.


What’s next: The actual first shots will likely come at the start of next week after a CDC advisory committee meets tomorrow.