By Stetson Miller

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The first COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of five will soon be administered in Maryland and across the country.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention decided today that the vaccine shots should be made available to children as young as six months old.

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This age group was the only one ineligible for the vaccine.

But now, parents and caregivers can get the vaccine for their children.

Baltimore residents said they were relieved to hear that the CDC had signed off on the vaccine shots.

School teacher Barbara Dworin said she was happy to hear that her students and grandchildren can now receive the vaccine.

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“I want them to be safe,” she said. “I want them to at least have a fighting chance and I want them out of masks so that they develop socially.”

The agency’s vaccine advisory panel and director doctor Rochelle Walensky recommended two vaccines for children ages six months to five years old: the Pfizer-biotech and Moderna vaccines.

Both vaccine doses are smaller than the shots for adults.

“For Moderna, it’s 1/4 of the adult dose that’s being given,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar for the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “For Pfizer, it’s 1/10 of the adult dose that’s being given.”

The recommendation expands eligibility to nearly 20 million additional children.

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Health experts are expecting parents to be hesitant but stress that the vaccine is safe and they recommend it for all children that are eligible to get it now.

Stetson Miller