Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration to grant an emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine, which is for children aged 6 months to five years. The FDA could grant authorization for children to receive shots that contain only one-tenth the dose as adults. This would allow them to start giving the vaccine to their children by February 31st. It is not yet clear how many shots the children will require. Pfizer revealed in December that its two low doses of vaccine didn’t provide enough immunity for children aged 2 to 4. The company added a third shot to the study. The final results of the study are not expected until March.

The FDA approval is not automatic. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must also sign off.

Parents across the country have been calling for an increase in shots for preschoolers and toddlers, particularly in light of the Omicron variant which has caused a record number pediatric hospitalizations. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 3.5 million children were tested positive for COVID in October.

Authorization would be at an important moment. Although new pediatric COVID cases fell last week, they remain high — more than 100,000 cases in 25 consecutive weeks.

CBS News’ Dr. Paul Offit, Children’s Hospital Philadelphia, stated that “for parents of young children I would say, hang on there.” “The next few weeks will see a dramatic decline in your child’s health.”

Since November, the vaccine is available to children aged 5-11 years old and 12-15 years old since May.

New Orleans was the first major school district in America to require that students aged 5 years and older be vaccinated for COVID. Parents may opt out for religious, philosophical or medical reasons.

Experts don’t think authorization for children under 5 will significantly impact new cases because so many parents are hesitant about vaccinating their eligible children. Only 38% are fully vaccinated among 5- and 17-year-olds.

“I encourage parents talk to their pediatricians to read trustworthy sources, not to go down Social Media rabbit holes but to examine the real data,” said Dr. Megan Ranney of Brown University, an emergency physician and academic deputy to the Dean of Public Health.

Conz Preti has anxiously been waiting for a vaccine to protect her 2-year-old twins, who are 3 and 2.

Preti stated to CBS News that the vaccine will be available as soon as possible. “I feel very comfortable having my children get the vaccine.”