ALABAMA – Currently, children over the age of 12 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 46 pediatric patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and of those 21 are in the ICU and 7 are on ventilators. So, this has people asking, when can younger children get vaccinated?
Dr. Anthony Fauci said COVID-19 vaccines for children between the ages of 5 and 11 could be approved as soon as this fall. He expects that an emergency use authorization for childhood vaccines will start with Pfizer followed by Moderna.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said he expects data on the vaccine for younger children to be submitted to the FDA by the first week of October.
Until that vaccine is available health experts still urge those who are eligible to get vaccinated and wear masks. The FDA released a statement saying, “Until we authorize or approve a vaccine for this younger population, it is especially important that parents and others who interact closely with children under 12 years of age get vaccinated, wear masks, and follow other recommended precautions so that we can protect those who cannot yet protect themselves through vaccination.”
The FDA also said the agency will carefully review all data for a vaccine for children and “is prepared to complete its review as quickly as possible, likely in a matter of weeks rather than months.”