The COVID-19 vaccination has been added to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) “Vaccines for Kids” (VFC) program.
The decision was made by a unanimous vote of CDC experts Wednesday.
The VFC program is a federally funded initiative to provide vaccines to children free of charge for families who may not be able to afford them.
The program provides various vaccines to millions of children each year.
All COVID-19 vaccines are currently provided free of charge by the federal government. However, the U.S. public health emergency is expected to cease in early 2023, bringing the task of distributing COVID-19 vaccines to the free market, per a Reuters report.
The provision will allow the VCF program to distribute the vaccine to children above the age of six months and boosters for those above the age of 5, which is the CDC’s current vaccine guidance policy.
Reuters reports this decision does not add the COVID-19 vaccine to CDC’s annual vaccination schedule, but officials in the meeting said it was a step in that direction.
The annual vaccine schedule recommends vaccines by age and states decide which ones are mandatory for entry into schools.
At this time, only around a third of school-age children have received the COVID-19 vaccine.