(WSYM) — It appears we are getting closer to having a COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in children younger than 12.
The Food and Drug Administration says a vaccine for kids could be authorized by early- to mid-winter.
This is very exciting news for parents of young children, like myself, who have not been able to get them vaccinated.
Here’s where we stand: The vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna for kids under age 12 are still in the testing stages. The clinical trials began in March, but it’s taking longer to get results than it did for the adult vaccines. That’s because the FDA wants to see four to six months of safety follow-up data for children, compared to just two months for adults.
Results are expected in September for the trials on children ages 5 to 11. It’s going to take a little longer to get the data for kids under age 5. Then, the FDA will need to review the companies applications for emergency use authorization.
That would take us to about early- or mid-winter before we could have a vaccine ready for use in kids.
One concern we’re hearing from parents is that the vaccines currently in use are only approved for emergency authorization and are not fully approved. However, the FDA hopes to alleviate those fears by moving quickly to grant full approval to the children’s vaccine, since they will have more safety follow-up data.
Parents should also take into consideration the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. The Delta variant accounts for 58-percent of all COVID cases in the U.S. right now. That means anyone who is unvaccinated, which of course includes all children under 12, is at a higher risk to contract the variant. A safe and effective vaccine for children will be an important tool in the fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus and its variants. We’ll keep you updated on the vaccine’s progress.