WATCH: The Senate Health committee holds hearing on the federal response to COVID-19

The Senate Health committee held a hearing on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic with Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky and Dr. Anthony Fauci among those who spoke on Thursday.

Watch the hearing in the player above.

“Cases are beginning to level off on the national level, although we continue to see increases in some regions of the country,” said Walensky. “And, while the 7-day average of daily deaths continues to decrease, there are still tragically too many deaths each day from this disease.”

The hearing follows news that the first COVID-19 shots for U.S. infants, toddlers and preschoolers moved a step closer Wednesday.

The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisers gave a thumbs-up to vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer for the littlest kids.

The outside experts voted unanimously that the benefits of the shots outweigh any risks for children under 5 — that’s roughly 18 million youngsters. They are the last age group in the U.S. without access to COVID-19 vaccines and many parents have been anxious to protect their little children.

“NIAID will continue to explore opportunities to support additional trials to test vaccine candidates in children, adolescents, and other special populations,” said Fauci.

If all the regulatory steps are cleared, shots should be available next week.

While endorsing the vaccines, some panel members said they believe chances are minimal for severe illness and death in young children.