WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRIC) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend that the Moderna vaccine is a viable option for children between six and 17 years old.

On Thursday, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine can be used as an option for children between six and 17 years old. This recommendation comes after a thorough review of the scientific evidence demonstrating safety and efficacy for the vaccine among this age group.

“It is critical that we protect our children and teens from the complications of severe COVID-19 disease,” Walensky said. “We have expanded the options available to families by recommending a second safe and effective vaccine for children ages six through 17 years. Vaccinating this age group can provide greater confidence to families that their children and adolescents participating in childcare, school, and other activities will have less risk for serious COVID-19 illness.”

The Moderna vaccine is already recommended for children between six months and five years old and adults 18 years and older. Earlier this week, the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) received shipments of pediatric Moderna vaccines intended for children under the age of five. As of June 18, all Virginians from the age of six months and older are eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Virginia Department of Health.