The CDC Just Recommended the Covid Vaccine for Children Under Five

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials.

Emma H. Tobin/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Update, 6/18 4:30 p.m. ET: Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has endorsed the decision of a CDC expert panel to recommend the Covid vaccine for young children, meaning everyone in the United States six months and older is now eligible to receive the vaccine.

For parents waiting to vaccinate their toddlers against Covid, I have good news: A panel of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has voted unanimously to recommend the vaccine for children under age five. 

Following approval from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna will be available for children down to six months old, as soon as Tuesday. The Food and Drug Administration authorized both vaccines for emergency use on Friday. 

Until now, Pfizer’s Covid vaccine had been available to anyone five years of age or older, and Moderna’s had been available to people ages 18 and older. The authorization from the FDA expanded which age groups were eligible—down to six months in both cases.

The vaccines will be administered in slightly different ways: Moderna’s vaccine, the FDA notes, should be given in a two-dose series, one month apart for healthy children. (A third dose has been approved for immunocompromised children.) Pfizer’s vaccine, on the other hand, should be given in a three-dose series for children under five, with the first two shots given three weeks apart, and a third shot eight weeks later. In February, the FDA decided to postpone its approval of the vaccine for children under five until data on all three doses was available.

“The Pfizer is a three-dose series, but as a three-dose series, it’s quite effective,” Dr. William Towner, who led vaccine trials for both companies, told the New York Times, adding that either vaccine would be better than none.

Both vaccines have shown to be safe and effective in randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. A full breakdown of the results of the trials is available on the FDA’s website.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate