Pediatricians roll out the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized for kids under 5

Nico Civitello  who is almost 4, was one of the first two patients to get the Moderna 5-and-under COVID-19 vaccine at Children's Medical Group in Decatur, Georgia, Monday afternoon.

His big brother got vaccinated on the first day he was eligible, and Nico's parents say they have been waiting for his turn.

"It feels great," David Civitello says. "I'm really excited for him, I'm really excited for our family, it feels great for everybody. It's going to be a little bit of a relief. We're still going to stay vigilant and mask when we can, and keep our distance.  But, yeah, this is a huge deal for us."

Children's Medical Group has ordered both covid-19 vaccines authorized for children as young as 6 months, but has only received the Moderna vaccine.

It arrived at the practice Monday morning, about 48 hours after the CDC signed off recommending both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for very young children, after a series of delays in the review process.

Pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu says they have been waiting months for this day.

"I'm really happy for the parents," Dr. Shu says.  "Our phones have been ringing off the hook. I'm actually helping answer the phones, and parents are just giddy with excitement, because their kids are finally able to get this layer of protection they've been waiting for."

The Moderna vaccine is a two-shot series, with the doses given a month apart.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is a much lower-dose vaccine than Moderna, requires 3 shots, spread out over 3 months.

"Right now, at this particular location, we only have the Moderna vaccine," Dr. Shu says.  "A lot of parents are choosing that because it's a 4-week series, so the first one now and the second dose 4 to 8 weeks from now. So, it's faster to get that protection.  So, we're seeing a lot of parents choosing that.  Some parents are saying, 'I want whatever I can get my hands on,' and that's totally fine."