The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday recommended COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months, allowing a nationwide rollout to start next week, Reuters reports.
The CDC's move came after a panel of advisers to the institution voted earlier on Saturday to recommend COVID-19 vaccines for those children.
"We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today's decision, they can," said Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, in a statement.
The CDC’s move comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Moderna’s shot for children aged six months to five years, and Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine for children aged six months to four years. Pfizer's vaccine is already authorized for children over the age of five.
President Joe Biden's administration plans to roll out the vaccines to the under-five age groups as early as next week.
"This coming week, parents will be able to start scheduling appointments at places like pediatricians´ offices, children´s hospitals, and pharmacies," Biden said in a statement on Saturday.
"Appointments will ramp up as more doses are shipped out, and in the coming weeks, every parent who wants a vaccine will be able to get one. As the vaccination program ramps up, Vaccines.gov will be live next week with vaccine availability and appointments increasing throughout the week."
COVID-19 is generally more mild in children. Still, since March 2020 it has been the fifth leading cause of deaths in children aged 1-4 and the fourth leading cause of death in children younger than one, according to the CDC.