COVID vaccines for kids still months away

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 11:40 AM CDT
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(CNN) – Kids are heading back to school soon.

The COVID-19 delta variant is surging.

And pharmaceutical companies are conducting vaccine trials for children under 12.

So, when will shots be available for kids?

“We are hopeful that we’ll have a safe and effective vaccine for younger children before the year is over,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pfizer and Moderna are still doing clinical trials to see how coronavirus vaccines work in children under 12.

Pfizer says data for children 5 to 11 could come sometime in September.

And depending on the findings, it could ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize emergency use of the vaccine for that age group that same month.

Moderna has not said when it could potentially have its trial data results.

“We still don’t have the complete picture, as data in this age group are limited, but we do know that even children with mild cases of COVID may face serious long-term effect,” Walensky said.

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Currently, all but four states are seeing an increasing trend in new daily COVID-19 cases.

According to doctors, patients are younger and sicker than those they saw in the winter.

For now, health experts say the best way to protect young children is to get shots into the arms of everyone else around them.

“The ones who will also pay the price other than the unvaccinated adolescents are the little kids, who depend on the adults and adolescents to get vaccinated in order to slow or halt transmission,” said Dr. Peter Hotez at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Pfizer says its data for 2- to -5-year-olds could arrive soon after September.

And for the youngest children, Pfizer says it could potentially get data in October or November and then ask the FDA to authorize emergency use.

That process can take several weeks, meaning a vaccine for younger children likely won’t be available until late fall or even next year.

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