(NewsNation) — Children under the age of six are the only group in the U.S. still not eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, but a move by Moderna could change that.
The chance is not quite here yet, but Moderna has asked the FDA for emergency use authorization of its coronavirus vaccine for children under six.
The two-shot regimen is a quarter of the dosage given to adults. If approved, shots for the tiniest arms could start as early as summer.
“There are about 18 million people that are not covered right now via vaccine. These are the babies, toddlers, preschoolers. So those will now have a chance at protection,” Dr. Anup Kanodia said. “This is huge because so many kids under the age of six, still having to wear masks, still having to do the social distancing, their life isn’t ‘normal’, their parents lives aren’t normal, a lot of them feel left out.”
Federal data released this week shows that through February, 60 percent of the adult population has antibodies to the virus. In children, the antibody rate was 75 percent.
The CDC attributes those figures to vaccinating, boosting and prior infections. However, some parents are split on whether their kids need vaccinations against COVID-19.
Even if the vaccine for the youngest Americans get approved, one mom of an eight-month-old is absolutely not interested.
“I’m worried about adverse reactions, giving him a foreign substance that has no long-term studies, and you know, and is it necessary? That’s what it boils down to for me,” one concerned parent said. “Nobody that I know is rushing to get their kid COVID vaccinated.”
But other parents are anxiously awaiting approval, eager for protection and peace of mind.
“It’s gone down, safety’s been increased and we’ve kept her masked in school. Not as concerned as we were last year, but we’d like to send her back to school next year vaccinated,” another parent said.
According to the CDC, less than a third of kids currently eligible in the 5-11 age group are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s too early to know whether certain preschools and daycare centers would make COVID vaccination mandatory.