In an interview with “Face the Nation,” Gottlieb said Pfizer will be able to file data with the FDA at some point next month and then submit its request for an extension of its authorization to use it. emergency for his vaccine in children 5 years and older. from October.
“The agency will be able to give clearance, I think, at some point in late fall, probably early winter,” Gottlieb told “Face the Nation.” across the country, how urgent is it to get a vaccine for children. “
The FDA in Mayfor emergency use for children aged 12 to 15 years old, and the company has been of his COVID-19 injection in children aged 2 and over.
Gottlieb said data for children aged 2 to 5 will be available in November. If the FDA clears Pfizer’s vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 in November or early December, “that, again, puts you on time to start rolling out these vaccines before the end of the year.”
Allowing young children to get vaccinated against COVID-19 would be crucial in the country’s efforts to tackle the highly contagious Delta variant. The children of the South have already returned to school in person, and the North East will open its classrooms next month.
Gottlieb said about 300 children are hospitalized each day with COVID-19, and infection rates among children have increased with the reopening of schools.
“What we are seeing in the South is very worrying,” he said. “An epidemic that has spread through the adult population is now spreading among children, especially when they return to school. “
Gottlieb said that schools preparing to welcome students back to class should look at what has happened in the South and take “adequate precautions.”
“I don’t think we should start the school year by lifting the mitigation measures that may have worked and probably worked last year to control school-based epidemics until we have some evidence. solid on what works and what doesn’t, ”he said. “I think we have to do everything we can to meet this challenge of trying to prevent the infection from becoming epidemic in the school setting as we go back to school here in the northeast. “
The two “best things” that schools can do, he said, are test students twice a week and keep them in geographic or social groups to reduce mixing among all students.
“These two things alone, according to the literature, are probably the two most effective steps schools can take,” he said.
Gottlieb also advocated for students to wear face masks and schools to improve ventilation, as well as to have eligible children vaccinated.
“About 50% of children eligible for vaccination have been vaccinated,” he said. “So there is still a lot of work we can do there, getting more information for parents, trying to encourage parents to immunize their children. “