The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee today recommended the authorization of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children 5 and under. The panel is expected to vote later today on whether to also recommend the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech. In response to the announcement, Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus on Children, issued the following statement:

“We are encouraged by the FDA’s strong first step toward making the COVID-19 vaccine available to the roughly 18 million U.S. children between 6 months and 5 years old. It has always been important to protect our youngest children but vaccinating them has become urgent as states and federal agencies lift public health measures such as masks and required proof of vaccination. We sincerely hope that parents and caregivers will enthusiastically embrace COVID-19 vaccination for their young children. We look forward to working with the Administration, providers and other advocates to educate and encourage families to vaccinate all of their children, and to ensure that vaccine access is easy and equitable.”