U.S. health officials on Saturday recommended COVID-19 vaccines for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. This is the final group without the shots.
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the decision after an advisory panel voted unanimously that the COVID-19 vaccine should be made available to children as young as 6 months.
The CDC said it expands eligibility for vaccination to nearly 20 million additional children.
Local parent Frances Lopez has a 2-year-old son now eligible to be vaccinated. Lopez is already fully vaccinated herself.
"We're pretty conflicted right now at the moment to see if we're gonna get him vaccinated. We're gonna get some research first and see if, you know, just wait a little bit," said Lopez. "But we are pro-vaccine. So we're kind of, you know, excited that this came out for kids under the age of six."
Local parent Lilia Carolina Muñoz has a one-year-old daughter. Muñoz isn't vaccinated for COVID and she said she also wants to wait on getting her daughter vaccinated.
"Honestly, I don't like that they approved the vaccine for kids so quickly," said Muñoz. "I want to see if there are any side effects and I'm just scared for my daughter."
Distribution of the pediatric vaccinations has started across the country and will be available at thousands of pediatric practices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health departments, clinics, and other locations this week.
Children in this younger age group can be vaccinated with whichever vaccine is available, Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech. Parents can reach out to their doctor, nurse, local pharmacy, or health department, or visit vaccines.gov to see where vaccines for children are available.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19. We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky.