ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Moderna is looking to be the first company to offer the COVID vaccine to kids under 5-years-old. Moderna has given data to the Federal Drug Administration, hoping to prove two low-dose shots can protect kids in this age demographic. 

A local pediatrician with Rochester Regional Health spoke to News 8 on Thursday.

Dr. Tracy Maier with ‘Penn-Fair Pediatrics’ says COVID-19 is not going away: it’s something we’re going to be living with for some time into the future. Vaccination, Maier says, is still very important at this phase.

COVID is a virus, and we know from other viruses like the flu, that they mutate quickly. So, there will be different variants of COVID as we go forward.

She feels the vaccine is one of the best tools we have to fight this virus off, not only that, but to keep things open and running. Getting kids under 5 vaccinated she said will be one more line of defense. 

Traditionally kids under two have not been masking, so they are exposed to COVID-19 more and the chance of spreading to family members is certainly there.

Dr. Maier says there are some parents should start asking if and when the Moderna vaccine is approved for kids under 5. 

“You want to ask things about, is it safe? Are there any long-term side effects? What would be the difference between my child getting the vaccine and actually getting COVID itself?” Dr. Maier said. “Again, it depends on circumstances. If the child is at high risk because they have an underlying medical condition, then I might say ‘okay, let’s go ahead with this when it’s approved for your age group.”

Maier says it’s important to have an ‘open conversation’ with your pediatrician to figure out what is best for your child. According to the Associated Press, Pfizer is also doing research in all this well to see how well doses of the vaccine work in youngsters. 

The local doctors believes there are some 18 million children in the US under 5-years-old.