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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday gave final approval for use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children six months through four years old and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children six months through five years old. 

This announcement came after the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously recommended use of the both vaccines in this younger population. The approval followed the FDA’s amendment of the emergency use authorization for both vaccines. 

“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19. We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said in a news release.

Dr. Walensky encourages parents and caregivers with questions to talk to their doctor, nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the benefits of vaccinations and the importance of protecting their children by getting them vaccinated.

According to the news release issued on Saturday by the CDC, all children, including children who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines have undergone—and will continue to undergo—the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Parents and caregivers can play an active role in monitoring the safety of these vaccines by signing their children up for v-safe – personalized and confidential health check-ins via text messages and web surveys where they can easily share with CDC how a child feels after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Distribution of pediatric vaccinations for these younger children has started across the country, and will be available at thousands of pediatric practices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health departments, clinics, and other locations this week. Children in this younger age group can be vaccinated with whichever vaccine is available (either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech). Parents can reach out to their doctor, nurse, local pharmacy, or health department, or visit vaccines.gov to see where vaccines for children are available.     

As of Sunday morning, the Indian Health Service (IHS) had not released its plan for implementation of this approval for its facilities in Indian Country. 

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The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from RxDestroyer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Dental Association. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online. 
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