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Families Anxiously Await COVID Vaccinations For Toddlers

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- As Joseph Sanchez watched his 15-months-old son go down a slide at a Willow Glenn neighborhood playground, he tries not to think of the constant danger the youngster faces from the coronavirus.

Children under the age of 5-years-old make up about 6% of the population in the United States, about 20 million people, and are the last group not eligible for a COVID vaccination.

Now, top health experts say approval for vaccines for kids age 6 months to 4 years could be coming as soon as next month.

"It's been kind of a juggle but we've been able to manage," said Sanchez of keeping his son safe.

Pfizer is currently compiling data in their vaccine trials for children under the age of 5 and could ask the FDA for approval at the end of next month. Dr. Anthony Fauci made the announcement during an interview Wednesday.

The children's vaccines would require 3 shots – the first shots would be three weeks apart and the third dose given two months later. The third dose isn't a booster, but instead simply a different dosing interval than adults.

"These kids need that vaccine protection," said Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease specialist at UC Berkeley and a public health expert.

He said approval of vaccines for children could be a game changer for families.

"For mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, it's just going to be something they've been waiting for because we have to be so cautious around these children because they don't have that protection," Dr. Swartzberg.

Experts believe the FDA should approve the vaccines because they've already had a chance to review the safety data, plus the total amount of vaccines kids get is just a fraction of what adults receive.

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