Dr. Antony Fauci said that it is likely that COVID-19 vaccines for kids between 5 to 11 years of age would get approved by the US Food and Drug Administration by this fall.
Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, while talking with Jake Tapper of CNN, said that if we look at the research done by the pharmaceutical companies in association with the National Institutes of Health, we can see that they would have enough information that will allow Pfizer and Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization.
COVID-19 Vaccines For Children Could Be Authorized Soon: Fauci
By September end, we can get kids above 5 vaccinated if everything falls in place and we win FDA approval. He believes that Pfizer will go first and Moderna will follow a little later, and we will be able to vaccinate children.
Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, said on Tuesday that they will submit the data about how vaccines work for kids between 5 to 11 years of age to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of this month. Data of vaccines for children below 5 will follow soon, he added.
In an event organized by Research America Alliance, Bourla said that they are working on vaccines for kids between 6 months old to 5 years old. He said data for this age group’s vaccine will be made available by the end of October or the first week of November.
In a statement on Friday, Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of Food and Drug Administration, along with Peters Mark, head of its vaccine division, said that the agency will review vaccine data for kids between 5 to 11 years when it is submitted. They added that they will finish reviewing it in a matter of weeks.
They also added that their ability to review the data speedily will depend on the timeliness and quality of submissions by the companies.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, the US has witnessed 171,394 COVID-19 cases per day over the last week. This number is 33% higher than a month ago.
According to data from Johns Hopkins, over the last week, more than 1,843 people have succumbed to the virus every day. This number has tripled in a month.
As schools are welcoming back students to in-person learning, COVID-19 cases among children are shooting up. Many schools do not even follow mask mandates. In the last week, the country has reported more than 243, 373 new pediatric cases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. That is almost 240% higher than July.
Fauci said on Wednesday that factors contributing to this increase are the reopening of schools without proper mask mandates.
He added that we should realize that the surge in infections is occurring because of the delta variant. When a community witnesses a highly transmissible virus, it is obvious that we are going to see kids getting infected. He added that vaccines and masks are the keys to keeping kids safe in schools.
He said that if kids are surrounded by vaccinated adults and everybody around them wears a mask, children will be safe at schools.
Mandating masks in schools is highly debated. Two Long Island public schools in New York are filing a lawsuit against the governor and the Commissioner of state health over mask mandates.
Governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine said on Tuesday that pediatric hospitals are overburdened with respiratory and Coronavirus cases. He also encouraged schools to impose mask mandates. Only 54% of public schools in the state require students to wear masks. He added that he has not yet implemented a mandate statewide because it will probably get taken down by the state legislature.
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