Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday that although he cannot guarantee it, babies and toddlers 6 months to 5 year old could be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by spring.
“Hopefully within a reasonably short period of time, likely the beginning of next year in 2022, in the first quarter of 2022, it will be available to them,” Fauci told Insider in an interview, though he cautioned that he was speculating, adding, “you’ve got to do the clinical trial.”
Pfizer-BioNTech stated in a previous statement that the results of their clinical trials in children aged 2-5 years and 6-12 months respectively are expected in the fourth quarter.
According to a report from ABC Tampa, late October Pfizer plans to apply for approval this month for its COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to five years. This is the age group in the U.S. that has not been vaccinated yet.
“The Food and Drug Administration and CDC won’t approve the vaccine until there’s some data showing safety and efficacy,” Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician and immunologist at Boston College, told CNN Health earlier this month.
“There’s every reason to think that it will be safe, and it will be efficacious,” Landrigan added. “But the agencies need to be cautious, justifiably so, and so they’re not going to give the approval until they have the data.”
According to CNN, Pfizer is the furthest along in trials for those aged 6 months to 5 years, but Moderna is also conducting studies in very young children.”We don’t have enough data now to present it for a regulatory approach, but right now, the data are being collected and analyzed,” Fauci stated when speaking to CNN earlier this month. “So we will be able to answer the question, I believe, within a reasonable period of time regarding the safety and the immunogenicity among those lower than 5 years old.”
CNN reports that Johnson & Johnson is currently conducting the first phase of a three-phase study with adolescents aged 12-17 years. They expect to report back in the next few months. The White House announced Wednesday that 10 percent of children ages 5 to 11 have received their first coronavirus shot, following the approval of the Pfizer pediatric dose.