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Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers could be vaccinated soon in Washington state

King County officials said parents could see the vaccine for their little ones available at sites as early as June 23.

KING COUNTY, Wash. — Babies, toddlers and preschoolers could soon get the COVID-19 vaccine in just a week.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light Wednesday and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could sign off as early as this weekend.

Right now, there is no vaccine available for kids younger than five. Some parents said they have been waiting for this moment.

"I think it's a great thing, said parent Corbin Johnson, said Johnson as he cradled his young daughter in his arms. "I think they don't approve it that early if there is not a lot of science backing it up. She just got vaccinated for like 11 other things two days ago so we're very pro-vaccine."

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In May, the FDA gave the approval for kids ages 5 to 11 to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Moderna vaccines were also added to the same age group. By this weekend, it's possible the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine could be available for children as young as six months old.

"The potential benefit to a young child from being vaccinated absolutely outweighs the risk that they will be at if they go unvaccinated and potentially get COVID-19," said pediatrician John Dunn of Kaiser Permanente. 

Dunn said he fully understands why some parents will hesitate to get their babies or toddlers vaccinated. However, he also stressed the vaccine is still the most effective tool against COVID-19.

"Unfortunately being less likely doesn't mean zero," Dunn said. "We still actually do see COVID-19 infections. Actually, we see a lot of COVID-19 infections in young kids and we do [see] severe infections more than some people might think."

King County Public Health officials said parents could see the vaccine for their little ones available at sites as early as June 23. More vaccines will be readily available after a couple of weeks, health officials said. 

"A lot of the people that we're talking to are all very excited," said mom Anna Johnson. "We've been waiting for this because it's like hard to go out when your immune system is so vulnerable so to finally have the vaccine so that she can finally be protected is such a gift."

Moderna and Pfizer's dose will be different from one another for children starting at six months old.

Moderna will be two doses about a month a part and Pfizer will require three doses over an 11 week period.

For the latest updates, be sure to follow King County Public Health.


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