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Arizona families preparing to get kids under 5 first COVID-19 vaccine dose

The FDA granted emergency use authorization of both Moderna and Pfizer's COVID vaccines Friday for young kids.

PHOENIX — Kids as young as six months are another step closer to being able to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for kids as young as six months on Friday. 

Next steps 

While the FDA granting emergency use authorization of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for young kids is a step closer to getting shots in arms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to sign off on the authorization. 

The CDC’s recommendation is expected by Monday after the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meets this weekend. 

Its anticipated shots will likely be able to get into the youngest of arms starting Tuesday, June 21. 

“We know that the best thing we can do for her is getting her vaccinated. And, you know, we're very, very, very excited about that,” Kara Karlson said.

Karlson is a mom of two girls and the chair of the Arizona Developmental Disability Advisory Council. 

Karlson’s youngest daughter, Ava, is three years old. 

“I’ve been holding my breath, wanting to catch a break,” Karlson said. 

Ready for the vaccine

Ava has dealt with health concerns over her young life and has a genetic condition as well as autism. 

“Early March of 2020, I was like, okay, like, we have a handle on all of this, she's doing much better,” Karlson said. “And then COVID hit.” 

Karlson said over the pandemic it’s been constant questions about how much of a risk an activity is, how Ava should be attending her necessary therapy sessions and more. 

“It’s really just been everyone around her taking all the precautions that we can,” Karlson said. “Getting vaccinated and boosted.” 

She knows the concern of worrying, waiting, and watching for approvals to come through for the shots. 

“We’ve been so lucky, and it’s been so hard. So my heart goes out to all the parents who are waiting and worried,” Karlson said. 

Ava’s now scheduled to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to come Tuesday. 

“Her getting access to this vaccine, finally, I’m going to finally be able to let my breath out,” Karlson said. 

Vaccinations likely to start being administered Tuesday

Ava is among about 400 patients already signed up to get the COVID shot at Pleasant Pediatrics in the Valley. 

“It’s giving patients an option,” Jeff Crosby, a physician assistant at the practice said. 

Children who get the Moderna shot will be considered fully vaccinated after two shots a month apart. 

Those who get Pfizer will be considered fully vaccinated 98 days later and three shots over that time. 

The COVID vaccine, especially for these youngest kids, remains controversial. 

“If there are still people that are on the fence, and they're not sure, if we recommend something at our office, COVID related or otherwise, it's something that we would do for, you know, those of us that have kids, we would do it for our kids,” Crosby said.

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