COVID-19 vaccines for young children are likely to be available as early as next week

[anvplayer video=”5116087″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – COVID-19 vaccines will likely be available to all children as young as 6 months old as early as next week. This is the last segment of our population to become eligible for the vaccine.

News10NBC finds out what parents who want this protection for their children need to know.

Although approved by the FDA advisory panel, the FDA still needs to sign off on the approval. If no more hurdles stand in the way, the CDC will also give its approval. After that, the vaccine will now be available to roughly 18 million infants, and toddlers.

"We’re excited to be able to provide protection to the youngest children who have yet been able to get protection against covid," said Rochester Regional Health Pediatrician Dr. Steven Schulz.

As expected the Food and Drug Administration panel voted unanimously to approve the use of both Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines for all children over the age of 6 months. Schulz tells us what parents need to know about the vaccine.

"The advisory committee and the FDA themselves have been so cautious about expanding protections to this age group is to ensure that safety, and allow extra time for study on side effects on those kind of things, and they have found it safe, and effective in protecting against covid," said Schulz.

Parents will be able to choose between Moderna which comes in 2 doses, or Pfizer’s 2 doses plus one booster. We asked Schulz if the covid-19 vaccine will conflict with all the other routine vaccines infants generally receive months after birth.

"For several months, if not a year we’ve been given vaccines in combination with the covid vaccine, and baby’s immune systems are perfectly capable of handling that and generating a good immune response to all of them," said Schulz.

He says contrary to what you commonly believe, the threat is very real for infants and toddlers.

"We know that unfortunately over 200 children in this age group have died because of covid since the beginning of the pandemic, and so to be able to offer the vaccine as the best form of protection for these youngest children is a huge step in the right direction," said Schulz.

Most states across the nation have already started pre-ordering their supply to meet this demand.