(WXYZ) — Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children may only be months away. The pharma giant plans to submit data to the FDA this September for kids aged 5 to 11.
This is great news. I know many parents who’ll be happy to hear that Pfizer is gathering their data and planning on filing with the FDA in September. Since Pfizer’s clinical trials for kids started back in March, they’ll have ample data on how well children responded to the vaccine.
Now, after Pfizer files this data, they’ll be able to submit an application asking the FDA to expand their emergency use authorization to include children 5 to 11. That’ll likely happen in October. And getting back to your question - how long will it take the FDA to review the data - I expect it’ll take about a month. We’ll likely hear the FDA’s decision sometime in late November, early December. And if approved, I expect shots for kids 5 and up will be available before the end of the year.
Pfizer has clinical trials for children aged 2 to 4 and also babies 6 months to a year. Data is expected for these two groups sometime in October or November. Now, as a father with three boys who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated, I am thrilled that our younger population will likely soon have a vaccine to protect them from serious illness and death. I find it heartbreaking that around 300 children every day are being hospitalized because they’re so sick with COVID-19.
Recently, over 180,000 children were infected in one week alone. As disappointing as that is, it not too surprising since only 50% of kids who can get the shots have done so. This makes me really concerned about what may be around the corner since school is just getting started.
As a parent and a physician, I can’t stress the importance of surrounding our youngest with people who are vaccinated. As it will really help keep them safe. It'll also keep the adults safe too if children get infected. A recent British study found the Delta variant is twice as likely to land unvaccinated people in the hospital when compared with the Alpha variant. This is why it's so important that people aged 12 and up get vaccinated.
Partha Nandi, MD FACP
CEO & Creator
Ask Dr Nandi, Emmy award winning television show
International Best Selling Author, Ask Dr Nandi: 5 Steps to Becoming Your Own #HealthHero for Longevity, Well-Being, and a Joyful Life
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