The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recently completed its review of the federal process and has unanimously concluded that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are safe and effective for children as young as six months old.
On Friday, June 17, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of the vaccines in children as young as six months old, and the CDC affirmed that decision on Saturday. The Workgroup reviewed the federal decisions on Saturday and affirmed them. The Moderna two-dose vaccine series and the Pfizer three-dose vaccine series are now available to children as young as six months old.
The Workgroup thoroughly reviewed safety and efficacy data for the vaccines. The Workgroup found that completion of either vaccine series produced antibody levels similar to those achieved in individuals aged 16-25 years. Observed vaccine reactions among infants aged six- to 12 months and children aged one through five years were consistent with reactions to other vaccines routinely recommended for these age groups.
The Workgroup concluded that the benefits of completing either vaccine series substantially outweigh any known or likely risks. Immunization can be expected to reduce the numbers of COVID-19-related serious illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in young children while facilitating their participation in normal educational, social and recreational activities.
Washington, Oregon, and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October 2020. The Workgroup, made up of nationally-acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, has concurrently and independently reviewed the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccines. It will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines as they go through the federal process.
“Vaccines are safe, effective, and widely accessible – we’re strongly encouraging parents to protect their kids from COVID-19 with these vaccines, and California has pre-ordered nearly 400,000 doses that can be administered at the more than 8,500 vaccine sites throughout the state,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.