Despite continued skepticism from parents and some scientific advisers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday recommended Covid-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months.
The ruling means young children could be injected as soon as Tuesday. Covid-19 has been stubbornly resistant to fading away, and new cases are still rising in various hotspots, including Los Angeles.
Federal regulators authorized the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years, and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years.
Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the C.D.C.’s director, said that many are “eager” to inject their children.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against Covid-19,” she said. “We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can.”
Despite that enthusiasm, CDC scientific advisers were concerned about the paucity of data, particularly about the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District has already pushed back its mandate that all students be vaccinated until July 2023. The move came to align with the state, which also moved its deadline. Originally, the vaccine mandate was set for the coming school year. All faculty and staff must be vaccinated.
The New York Times reported the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has an overall efficacy of 80 percent in children under 5, Pfizer’s scientists claimed on Friday.
However, that was based on three children in the vaccine group and seven who received a placebo, making it an unreliable metric, the C.D.C.’s advisers noted and the NYT reported.