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Biden calls greenlighting of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 a ‘monumental step’

Biden calls greenlighting of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 a ‘monumental step’

President Biden on Saturday called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) approval of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children under five a “monumental step.”

“For parents all over the country, this is a day of relief and celebration,” Biden said in a statement. 

“As the first country to protect our youngest children with COVID-19 vaccines, my Administration has been planning and preparing for this moment for months, effectively securing doses and offering safe and highly effective mRNA vaccines for all children as young as six months old,” he added.

Biden said that parents would be able to schedule appointments starting this coming week, a huge relief for some parents of young children.

“Appointments will ramp up as more doses are shipped out, and in the coming weeks, every parent who wants a vaccine will be able to get one,” he said. “As the vaccination program ramps up, will be live next week with vaccine availability and appointments increasing throughout the week.”

Biden’s comments come shortly after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky signed off on a recommendation from an advisory committee backing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children aged 6 months and older.

Her signoff was considered the last remaining step needed before parents could start making appointments to have their children administered the vaccine. 

Children will be given a two-dose regimen for the Moderna vaccine, while they will receive three doses under the Pfizer vaccine.

After three doses of Pfizer, the vaccine was 80 percent effective for children in that age group.

Moderna’s vaccine for children 6 months to 2 years old was 51 percent effective for preventing symptomatic infection and 37 percent for children between 2 and 5 years old.