“I would say the parents in my office are desperate” to get young kids vaccinated, said Dr. Dyan Hes, who runs a pediatrics practice in New York City, where vaccination rates are high. For many, “that’s the first thing they ask when they walk through the door: ‘When do you think the shot is going to come out?’”

Pfizer on Tuesday asked the U.S. to authorize extra-low doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5, potentially opening the way for the very youngest Americans to start receiving shots as early as March.

In an extraordinary move, the Food and Drug Administration had urged Pfizer and its partner BioNTech to apply earlier than the companies had planned — and before it’s settled if the youngsters will need two shots or three.

The nation’s 19 million children under 5 are the only group not yet eligible for vaccination against the coronavirus. Many parents have been pushing for an expansion of shots to toddlers and preschoolers, especially as the omicron variant sent record numbers of youngsters to the hospital.

“I would say the parents in my office are desperate” to get young kids vaccinated, said Dr. Dyan Hes, who runs a pediatrics practice in New York City, where vaccination rates are high. For many, “that’s the first thing they ask when they walk through the door: ‘When do you think the shot is going to come out?’”

Pfizer aims to give children as young as 6 months shots that contain one-tenth of the dose given to adults. The company said it had started submitting its data to the FDA and expects to complete the process in a few days.

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