As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of a booster shot for those over age 16 who are fully vaccinated, parents are asking when children ages 5-11 could see their first shot.
Children between the ages of 5-11 will likely be able to get a vaccination sometime in November, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said this week.
“That seems like a reasonable timeline to me,” Walensky said. “Again, we don’t want to get ahead of the FDA right now. The best way to keep our children under the age of 12 safe is to vaccinate all the people who are around them and to have them wear masks when they attend schools.”
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that results from “very large studies” of the vaccine with children under age 12 are expected to be completed in September. After that, Bourla said the company could submit the data to the FDA for emergency use authorization.
The FDA asked vaccine makers for up to six months of follow-up safety data from the children’s clinical trials. The agency asked for two months’ follow-up data for the adult vaccine trials.
What about babies and toddlers?
According to Pfizer, results of trials for the 2-to-under-5 age group and 6-months-to-under-2 age group will likely be ready for the FDA quickly after the results for older children. Pfizer expects the trials to be finished in September.
That could mean a midwinter timeline for a Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 6 months old.
Moderna has said it is expecting a late fall or early winter timeline for getting the results of its trials on children ages 6 months to 11 to the FDA for authorization of a vaccine for children. Moderna has filed an emergency use authorization for a vaccine for children 12-17.
Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is available for people ages 12 and older. Moderna’s vaccine is available to those 18 and older. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for those older than 18.
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