Countless parents and caregivers are sharing sighs of relief now that their children over 5 years old can receive Covid-19 vaccinations. The news of the vaccine’s approval and availability offers even more protection for families against this life-threatening virus. But, inevitably, it’s also prompted more questions about when children under 5 may get vaccinated. And the short answer is: soon. Trials and testing are currently underway, and signs are pointing to fruitful updates coming in early 2022.
What Do We Know About Covid-19 Vaccines For Children Under 5 So Far?
Pfizer, the company behind the development of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, has made strides in the development of vaccines and booster doses for adults and teens to combat the coronavirus. The company is currently engaged in studies researching potential Covid-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months through 4 years. On Dec. 17, Pfizer shared on its website that revisions would be made to “the clinical study evaluating the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine” in kids and infants within that age bracket.
It’s been reported that trial studies surrounding two-dose vaccinations were not proving to be as potentially effective as larger doses given in older people. Moving forward, studies will involve research into a third dose within this age group. (As of now, receiving the Pfizer vaccine requires two initial doses or shots, outside of later boosters that are available). These are efforts to ensure not only safety, but efficacy.
Moderna, however, has shared in recent weeks that they hope to have all of their data on a vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years ready to be submitted to the FDA by the end of January. Because Moderna is a higher dosage of a vaccine, two doses so far has proven to be efficient for children, and the company is hopeful that the FDA will be able to approve by late winter/early spring.
When Will There Be Potential Approval Of A Covid-19 Vaccine For Kids Under 5?
In their update, Pfizer shared: “If the three-dose study is successful, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to submit data to regulators to support an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for children 6 months to under 5 years of age in the first half of 2022.” Subsequent reports have shared hopes of a timeline as early as April.
Again, Moderna has claimed to have data ready by the end of January 2022 to be submitted, with the hopes that the FDA can approve and give an emergency use authorization by end of February or early March.
While many caregivers might be disappointed in these projected dates, remember that several factors come into play when developing vaccines for young children. Not the least of which is the fact that babies and toddlers are different than adults in many ways, like in their growth and development rates. The shot dosage, for example, might be different for the under-5 kids than for adults, as wound up being the case with Covid-19 vaccines developed for kids ages 5 to 11.
But while you await news on this front, it’s key to consider vaccinations and boosters for all of those family members who are currently eligible, especially in light of fast-spreading variants like Delta and Omicron. To learn where you can get vaccinated and potentially receive a booster, go to https://www.vaccines.gov/.
For more information and updates on the coronavirus, go to https://www.romper.com/coronavirus.