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Arkansas officials say COVID vaccines for kids under 5 would be a step toward ending pandemic

An FDA panel is meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday to grant authorization for vaccines to those as young as six.

ARKANSAS, USA — A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted to grant emergency use authorization for Moderna's vaccine for kids ages six through 17.

Officials with the Food and Drug Administration reviewed studies from Moderna on Tuesday. Pfizer already had authorization from the FDA since November.

While only 29% of children under 12 have been vaccinated since they became eligible in for the Pfizer shot in November, Arkansas department of health’s Dr. Joel Tumlison says it’s an important step to putting the pandemic behind us.

“If we want to get into the endemic phase, and we don’t want to have these super high peaks and then drops again, over and over again, then we need to have as many people in our community as immune as possible,” said Dr. Tumlison

On Wednesday, the FDA will meet to review both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for ages six months old to five years old.

Some concerns followed the Moderna Vaccine. Some believed that the vaccine was more likely to cause Myocarditis, a rare inflammation of the heart muscle. On Tuesday, the FDA said research showed did not carry a higher risk for myocarditis than Pfizer.

Dr. Tumlison said that the FDA may recommend the practice of waiting seven to eight weeks between vaccines rather than three to four. The physician in outbreak response said that studies had shown it would reduce the already rare chance of myocarditis. He also explained that waiting longer wouldn’t reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

White House officials say that with authorization, the vaccines could be available as soon as June 21.

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