Updated: FDA Approves COVID-19 Vaccine for Young Kids

Nora Hacikian, RN, BSN, prepares a dose of a Pfizer vaccine during an April 2021 vaccination clinic in Malibu.

On Friday, Oct. 29, the FDA approved low-dose COVID-19 vaccines for children ages five–11.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted on Tuesday, Oct. 26, to approve low-dose COVID-19 vaccines for children ages five through 11. The vote was nearly unanimous, with one member abstaining and all others voting in favor. 

The vote is widely considered the major hurdle to approval; however, the vaccines will not become available to kids in that age group until the FDA officially signs off, followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Major news outlets were predicting vaccines would be in the arms of elementary school kids as early as the first week of November. 

The news came just days after another major vaccine decision: the expansion of boosters for older adults, adults with underlying medical conditions, those living in high-risk places and those working high-risk jobs. 

The FDA approved vaccine boosters for those who received Moderna vaccines along the same lines as were already approved for those who received Pfizer shots—available to those aged 65 and up and/or who live or work in high-risk areas. Pfizer and Moderna vaccine recipients are told to wait to get their booster for at least six months since their most recent shot.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine boosters are also now suggested for anyone who received the first Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least two months from their first shot. 

Guidelines also allow “mixing and matching,” with any of the three shots available as boosters.

More information is available at: publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/vaccine/index.htm.