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CDC panel meeting on COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5

San Diego County is telling families to start making appointments now for children under 5 years of age to get COVID-19 vaccines.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — COVID-19 vaccines could be going into the arms of children as young as 6 months, starting next week. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel is scheduled to vote on the recommendation over the next two days. 

U.S. regulators on Friday authorized the first COVID-19 shots for infants and preschoolers, paving the way for vaccinations to begin next week.

The Food and Drug Administration's action follows its advisory panel's unanimous recommendation for the shots from Moderna and Pfizer. That means U.S. kids under 5 — roughly 18 million youngsters — are eligible for the shots, about 1 1/2 years after the vaccines first became available in the U.S. for adults, who have been hit the hardest during the pandemic.

RELATED: FDA authorizes 1st COVID-19 shots for infants, preschoolers

Experts stressed that children under 5 years of age will need to get all their shots, not just one, to be protected from COVID. Pfizer's vaccine is a three-dose regimen -- Moderna's is two.  

The county is telling families to start making appointments now for children under 5 to get COVID-19 vaccines, which are the only group that is not eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The situation is likely to change soon if the CDC and the Western States committee approve Moderna’s vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer’s for children ages 6 months to 4 years.

If that occurs, San Diego County children in those age groups will be able to get vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office, community clinics and some retail pharmacies.

“While children have not been as susceptible to COVID-19, it’s important that they, too, are vaccinated to keep them from getting sick and passing the virus to others,” said Wilma J. Wooten. M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Some parents have been eagerly anticipating the COVID vaccine for their younger kids. They should make an appointment to get them vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Smaller Doses for Younger Kids

The vaccines for children this age would be given in much smaller doses. The Pfizer vaccine would be given in three shots, each containing one tenth of an adult dose. The first two doses would be given three weeks apart and the final shot at least three months later.

The Moderna vaccine, which currently is only available for adults, is also likely to be approved for two more age groups: children between 6 and 17 years of age and those under 6. The Moderna shot for kids under 6 is a two-dose series, given about four weeks apart. Each dose contains one quarter of the adult dose.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna shots for kids under 6 are given with smaller needles and, most times, it is administered in the leg.

Everyone 5 years and older can get a vaccine and boosters at no cost. Parental consent is required for all eligible minors to be vaccinated.

Vaccination Progress:

  • Received at least one shot: More than 2.97 million or 94.4% of San Diegans age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated.
  • Fully vaccinated: Over 2.63 million or 83.6%.
  • Boosters administered: 1,358,992 or 58.7% of 2,316,581 eligible San Diegans.
  • More vaccination information can be found at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.

Deaths:

  • Three additional deaths were reported since the last report on June 9. The region’s total is 5,318.
  • Of those three additional deaths, two were men and one was a woman. They died between June 9, 2022 and June 11, 2022; the three deaths occurred in the past week.
  • Two of the people who died were 80 years or older and one was in their 70s.
  • Two of the people who died were fully vaccinated and one was not.
  • All three had underlying medical conditions

Cases, Case Rates, Hospitalizations and Testing:

  • 4,003 COVID-19 cases were reported to the County in the past three days (June 13 – June 15, 2022). The region’s total is now 813,035.
  • 9,672cases were reported in the past week (June 9 through June 15) compared to 10,370 infections identified the previous week (June 2-June 8).
  • San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 42.13 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 25.06 for fully vaccinated people and 75.59 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.
  • 12,412 tests were reported to the County on June 11, and the percentage of new positive cases was 11% (Data through June 11).
  • The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases, among tests reported through June 11, is 10.7%.

For more information on the county's updates, click here.

WATCH RELATED: CDC moves San Diego County to 'medium' level for covid-risk (May 27, 2022)

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