An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday gave the green light to Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for kids aged 6 through 17, bringing it closer to becoming the second vaccine in the U.S. eligible for use in children.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Thursday unanimously endorsed Moderna’s vaccine for use in those between the ages of 6 and 17.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is likely to sign off on the committee’s recommendation, as the agency almost always follows ACIP’s endorsements.
Previously, the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in children between 6 and 17 was Pfizer’s two-dose mRNA vaccine.
Walensky has already signed off on the committee’s previous recommendation that Pfizer’s and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines be administered to children under the age of 5, with administration of these reduced doses having already begun.
With ACIP’s recommendation on Thursday, all children will soon likely have access to both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
While this recommendation will soon give parents more vaccine options for their children, it remains unclear what sort of impact this development will have when vaccination rates have become sluggish, especially among children.
While a majority of U.S. adults and older children are believed to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a minority of eligible young children can currently say the same. The most recent CDC data shows that just 29.5 percent of children between 5 and 11 are fully vaccinated.