When Can Children Get A Covid-19 Vaccine?
Updates show that a Covid-19 vaccine for kids under 12 is a reality, with good news anticipated to arrive in the coming weeks.
Kids are going back to school. And many caregivers are packing spare face masks right alongside crayon boxes into their backpacks, wondering when their children will be able to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Why is the greenlight for kids taking more time than the approval for use in adults? Well, like most issues surrounding the coronavirus, this answer is complicated. But the good news is that tests are underway, and many medical professionals and executives expect updates in the coming weeks. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, just recently shared hopes of potential emergency use of a vaccine getting the go-ahead by the Fall. On September 20, Pfizer announced that their vaccine works for kids ages 5 to 11 and will seek U.S. authorization soon, MSN reported. With the recent increase in Covid-19 cases among children, this is a much-needed sun beam for countless parents across the country.
When Can Kids Get Vaccinated Against Covid-19?
Companies that developed Covid-19 vaccines for teens and adults like Pfizer and Moderna are researching and testing potential Covid-19 vaccinations for young children, and their studies have been reportedly underway since the first quarter of 2021. While Pfizer is already safe for kids over 12, a much lower dose proved safe in younger kids in recent tests, and the vaccine could be deemed safe for kids ages 5 to 11 within a matter of weeks. Thinking about the doses adults can receive of the current vaccines, and the doses kids could potentially handle, is not necessarily an apples-to-apples kind of comparison. While Pfizer is already safe for kids over 12, a much lower dose proved safe in younger kids in recent tests, and the vaccine could be deemed safe for kids ages 5 to 11 “within a matter of weeks.”
In a “best case scenario,” some experts think Halloween could be when the shots are available for young kids, while the CDC has given a vague deadline of the end of the year for shots.
Where Does The FDA Stand On A Covid-19 Vaccine For Kids?
On September 10, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) shared a statement on its website that made clear its regulators feel the weight and importance of their anticipated decisions surrounding a Covid-19 vaccine for young children under 12. The statement shared, in part, that regulators are prepared to act quickly and carefully once anticipated requests for emergency use authorizations or approvals come in. Once again, safety is a primary concern, and eyeing the strength and dosage of a potential vaccine for young children may be examined in the coming months. The statement also shared that a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) committee would also need to convene and potentially make recommendations. So there’s much work to be done, but it is happening, and the statement shared the hope of having an available pediatric Covid-19 vaccine in months.
How Can Children Stay Safe While Waiting For A Covid-19 Vaccine For Kids?
Caregivers are going to continue making personal choices regarding vaccinating their children. That said, while awaiting recommendations and potential approvals surrounding a Covid-19 vaccine for young children, the AAP isn’t supporting the use of current vaccines in kids below 12. (Remember, for example, our shots and potential shots for your little kid may not necessarily be the same in strength or dosage.) As of right now, the CDC suggested for kids age 2 and up through 11 to continue masking indoors. And while there are adorable (and comfortable!) kids’ face masks to help make that task more tolerable, take comfort in knowing a potentially more permanent solution is in the works.
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