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The FDA has authorized Covid-19 vaccines for children under 5. What should parents know?

The FDA has authorized Covid-19 vaccines for children under 5. What should parents know?The US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization on Friday for both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for young children. Vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously on Saturday in support of giving babies and other kids as young as 6 months a Covid-19 vaccination.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the plan, clearing the way for the vaccinations to be administered this week.

Parents may be reluctant to actually get them when they become available, an April survey found. Just 18% of parents of children under 5 said they would vaccinate their child against Covid-19 as soon as a vaccine became available, according to an April Kaiser Family Foundation Vaccine Monitor survey.

Nearly 40% of those surveyed said they would “wait and see” before vaccinating their young children, 11% said they would get the vaccine for their kids only if required, and 27% said they would “definitely not” get the Covid-19 vaccination for their child.

Even parents who are eager to vaccinate likely have questions. How confident should they feel about the FDA’s decision? When will vaccines be available to young kids, and how will families access them? Which vaccine is better, Pfizer or Moderna? If my child already has had Covid-19, should they still be vaccinated? And what if my kid turns 5 soon — should I hold off?

I spoke with CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She is also author of “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health” and the mother of two children under 5.

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