Why kids under 5 still can't get a COVID-19 vaccine
After disappointing results from clinical trials last year, vaccine companies are working to make the shots more effective. Here's where the science stands now.
Though vaccines have restored some semblance of pre-pandemic life for most people in the United States, one group is still waiting: kids under five, who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines. That’s been particularly frustrating for their parents, who must decide what activities are safe for their unvaccinated children—and who are often left scrambling when outbreaks shut down schools and daycare.
Compared to adults, children in this age group are less at risk for severe COVID-19. But currently the coronavirus’s Omicron variant is driving a surge in pediatric hospitalizations—more than double that of the previous peak in the fall—because it’s more transmissible than earlier strains.
Older children have been eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine since early