(RxWiki News) Health officials have finally approved COVID-19 vaccines for use in young children.
After evaluating the safety and effectiveness of two of the most common COVID-19 vaccines, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the vaccines to expand their use to children as young as 6 months old.
The expanded approval comes after years of an international pandemic that has had parents around the country worried about the safety of their children.
“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," said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf in an FDA press release. "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."
Specifically, the FDA approved the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for use in young children. The Moderna vaccine had previously only been approved for use in adults, while the Pfizer vaccine had only been approved for use in children who were at least 5 years old.
Before approving these vaccines for use in young children, the FDA studied them in these populations to make sure they were safe and effective.
“Those trusted with the care of children can have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these COVID-19 vaccines and can be assured that the agency was thorough in its evaluation of the data,” Dr. Califf said.
The agency did amend the dosing schedule and series for the vaccines to be administered to young children.
In children younger than 5, the most common side effects of the vaccines included redness, swelling and pain at the injection site, swelling of the underarm or lymph nodes and fever.
Talk to your health care provider about making sure your children are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and other serious illnesses.