FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – COVID-19 vaccines are now approved for nearly every American. The FDA has approved the use of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children six-months-old to 5-years-old. 

“Vaccines are going to be available beginning this week,” explained Dr. John Zweifler of the Fresno County Department of Public Health.  

Over the weekend, the FDA approved both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for kids in this age group. 

“This wasn’t something that was rushed, this is something that actually underwent a very extensive evaluation,” said Dr. Nael Mhaissen, an infectious disease doctor at Valley Children’s. 

Dr. Mhaissen said this is a crucial step in the fight against COVID-19.

“The virus has changed to where it’s affecting children more so than it has in the past, so the second and third year of COVID, it’s actually different than the first year in the terms of how often children are getting sick.” 

For young kids getting the Pfizer vaccine, they’ll get three doses, each one-tenth the dosage of an adult dose. The first two are three weeks apart, and the third eight weeks later.

For Moderna, kids will get two doses which are one-quarter of the doses adults get, each four weeks apart. 

The Fresno County Department of Public Health says it’s working closely with clinics, pharmacies, and other providers across the county to distribute doses and hopes to have vials in the Central Valley soon.

But as vaccine rates for older kids hover around 30% in Central Valley counties, they expect turnout here to be just as low. 

“Having the vaccine for children- especially those under the age of two who cannot wear masks is a real step forward and we’re glad it’s available for those families,” said Dr. John Zweifler of the Fresno County Department of Public Health.  

You can find more information about vaccinations on the Fresno County Department of Public Health’s website.