FDA authorizes COVID-19 vaccine shots for children under 5

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized COVID-19 vaccines for children under five years old.

The FDA said on Friday that it had authorized emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for infants and children from six months through four years of age and the Moderna vaccine for those aged six months through 17.

Currently, the minimum age for coronavirus vaccine shots in the United States is five years old.

The authorization comes after a panel of outside experts for the FDA unanimously agreed that the benefits of each vaccine outweigh the risks.

Children given Pfizer's vaccine will receive three shots that each contain one-tenth of the dose for adults.

Moderna's vaccine for children aged six months through five years will be a two-shot regimen with each jab containing a quarter of the dose for adults. For children aged six through 11, the amount is raised to half of the adult dose. Those aged 12 through 17 will receive the same dose as adults.

The use of the vaccines for children aged six months or older now needs final approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.