PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — COVID-19 vaccines may soon be approved for children younger than 12, perhaps in October.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the Pfizer vaccine could be approved for use in children between the ages of 5-11 sometime in the next few weeks.
Cases of COVID in children are climbing as the virus seeks the unvaccinated. Parents are worried sending their kids to school protected with a mask but not a vaccine.
Masking and distancing requirements are still a challenge for elementary school students, especially during times on a school bus or when they’re not in school.
Gottlieb, who is on the board of Pfizer, said the company will send its study data to the FDA later this month and expects to get emergency authorizations for use in kids 5-11 in October.
“FDA says its going to be weeks, not months, in terms of their evaulation of that clinical data whether they are going to authorize vaccines for kids ages 5-11,” Gottlieb said. “I interpret that to mean perhaps 4 weeks or 6 weeks but in a best case scenario given the timeline I just laid out you could potentially have a vaccine available for children 5-11 by Halloween.”
For now there is still this warning: Do not get a child vaccinated until it’s approved. Once approved, it will likely be a smaller dose than what those 12-and-older are receiving.
As it stands, only about half of kids between 12-17 are fully vaccinated against COVID, even though they were eligible to get the shot starting in May.