FDA Authorizes Coronavirus Vaccines for Children Younger than 5

Child in mask receives COVID-19 vaccine. (jacoblund/iStock / Getty Images Plus)
jacoblund/iStock / Getty Images Plus

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday authorized both Moderna’s and Pfizer’s coronavirus shots for children under the age of five.

“Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement Friday.

“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,” he added:

The move comes two days after the FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously approved the vaccines for young children. The vaccines are now pending final approval from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Notably, every state in the country, with the exception of Florida, preordered coronavirus vaccines for children under five, as the Florida Department of Health said the Sunshine State does “not need to be involved in the convoluted vaccine distribution process, especially when the federal government has a track record of developing inconsistent and unsustainable COVID-19 policies.”

However, the Florida Department of Health’s Jeremy Redfern made it clear that doctors themselves “can order vaccines if they are in need.”

“There are currently no orders in the Department’s ordering system for the COVID-19 vaccine for this age group,” he added.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) also discussed the state’s decision on Thursday, explaining that Florida officials believe the “risks outweigh the benefits.”

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - JUNE 08: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference held at the Cox Science Center & Aquarium on June 08, 2022 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Governor spoke about the recently signed state budget that had more than $1.2 billion for Everglades restoration and the protection of Florida’s water resources. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference held at the Cox Science Center & Aquarium on June 08, 2022, in West Palm Beach, Florida (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

“Our Department of Health has been very clear the risks outweigh the benefits. And we recommend against — that’s not the same as banning it,” DeSantis said during Thursday’s press conference, emphasizing that people can still access them when they become available.

“Doctors can get it. Hospitals can get it. But there’s not gonna be any state programs that are gonna be trying to, you know, get COVID jabs to infants and toddlers and newborns,” he added.

According to the most recent data from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in the 46 states reporting, “0.00%-0.02% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death.”


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