What to know about the coronavirus vaccine for children younger than 5

Children play in their living room in Cincinnati, Ohio in February 2022. (Megan Jelinger for The Washington Post)

More than 26 million eligible children have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine since 5-to-11-year-olds got the green light late last year and started rolling up their sleeves.

But many families are still anxiously awaiting a pediatric vaccine for the youngest Americans — ages 6 months through 4 years. U.S. regulators recently reversed their decision to consider pushing through the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for younger children — now waiting until safety and efficacy data on a third dose becomes available.

“We do need a vaccine for these kids,” Sean O’Leary, vice chair of the Committee on Infectious Diseases for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said before the recent reversal.

Should my child get a coronavirus vaccine? Is it safe? Here’s what you should know.

Here are some things we know about the vaccine for the youngest children.