COVID vaccine for children under 5 nears authorization as NYC closer to normalcy

The FDA has officially cleared one of the final hurdles to getting the nation’s youngest children vaccinated, leaving parents like Jennifer Hogan optimistic about a return to normalcy.

"I trusted the science for myself, so you know, with your young ones you’re obviously very vigilant. You have to be very careful, but we want this thing to be over and we want to go back to normal," she says.

The administration’s advisors unanimously agreed that the benefits outweigh the risks and have endorsed shots from both Pfizer and Moderna for kids five years old and younger.

"Every life is important," stresses Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Director.

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The decision now sets in motion a fast-moving process that could get shots into arms as soon as next week.

Over the weekend, a CDC advisory panel will vote on whether to endorse the shots.

The final step is a stamp of approval from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky who testified on Thursday before a Senate panel saying her agency will need more funding to address vaccines and testing.

"As we continue to support our COVID-19 response efforts, we must not forget that this will not be our last public health challenge, and we continue to face future public health threats," she said.

The Biden administration has already made ten million kid-sized doses available for pre-order.

Dr. Victor Peralta, a Queens pediatrician, has been preparing parents for months.

"It has been proven to be safe and effective in children above the age of five. The research that’s been done shows it’s also safe and effective in children less than five," Peralta explains.

This all comes as New York hits another milestone in its pandemic recovery.

According to "back to work" data reported by The City, office occupancy topped a record 40% in the past week with COVID-19 cases on the decline.

The MTA announced that commuter railroad ridership returned to two-thirds of its pre-pandemic levels on Tuesday.

Metro-North and LIRR had their highest combined one-day ridership total since the pandemic began, with 365,000 customers.

Subway ridership was at 61.6% as of this Wednesday, compared to 59.5% a week prior.