COVID-19 Vax Set To Be Approved In November For Youngest Age Group Yet
Vaccines for kids between the ages of 5 and 11 are expected to be available by the first half of November, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Sunday.
“If all goes well, and we get the regulatory approval and the recommendation from the CDC, it’s entirely possible if not very likely that vaccines will be available for children from 5 to 11 within the first week or two of November,” Fauci said.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials are reviewing the Pfizer/BioNTech application seeking authorization of its 2-dose vaccine for young children, with a panel of outside advisers to weigh in on Oct. 26.
The FDA typically follows the advice of its panel however it is not required to do so.
Advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will give it’s recommendations for the vaccine at a meeting on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the agency wanted to act quickly.
“After they (FDA) are able to review all the science and conduct the regulatory action and the CDC will meet, and if all of that goes smoothly … we will act quickly,” she said.
“We know how many parents are interested in getting their children between 5 and 11 vaccinated and we intend to act as quickly as we can,” she added.
Once authorized, around 28 million children in the United States would be eligible to get the first U.S. COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids.
Children have a lower rate of death from COVID-19, however many face illness and long-term symptoms that are still being studied. Many adults who have been hesitant or opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine, are expected to resist getting the shot for their children.
When asked whether schools should mandate a vaccine for kids, Walensky said: “Right now we are at authorization. We’re having discussions about authorization. I think we need to get children vaccinated through this authorization and get to approval before we can make a judgment there.”