COVID-19 vaccines approved for children under 5 in Washington

Washington and other western states have authorized the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5 years old, following federal approval.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup—comprised of Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California—determined the two vaccines currently approved for everyone ages five and up are now effective for children as young as six months old. 

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The workgroup approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines unanimously. 

Last week, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) said it would begin supplying healthcare providers with vaccines once they are approved for children in that age group.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of vaccines in children as young as 6 months old on Friday. On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirmed the decision.

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Roughly 74.4% of the state population ages five and older, military included, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the DOH. Vaccine uptake has slowed down in recent months as the pandemic enters its third year. 

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Gov. Jay Inslee’s office released information that completion of either vaccine series produced the antibody levels similar to those achieved in people age 16-25. Reaction to the vaccines in infants 6–12 months and children 1–5 years old were the same compared with other age groups.

Seattle Children's Hospital will be one of the first locations offering vaccines for this age group.