Vaccines to protect children aged five to 11 against Covid-19 will be available in the United States from early to mid-November, Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s chief medical adviser, predicted on Sunday.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review panel found last week that the benefits of Pfizer-BioNTech injections for the younger age group outweighed the risks, calling a meeting on Tuesday. advisory from external FDA experts who should recommend emergency authorization for use.
With final approval from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) likely to arrive the following week, Fauci said he believes pediatric vaccines will start to come into play soon.
“If all goes well and we get regulatory approval and the CDC recommendation, it’s very possible, if not very likely, that vaccines will be available for children five to 11 years old in the first or two weeks.” of November, ”Fauci told ABC’s. This week with George Stephanopoulos.
“You never want to get ahead of the FDA in its regulatory decisions, or the CDC and its advisers on what the recommendation would be, but if you look at the data that has been made public, the data looks good. “
Pfizer has claimed that its coronavirus vaccine is 91% effective in the five to 11-year-old age group. Expanding the availability of vaccines to children under 12 is seen as a key step in bringing a pandemic that has killed more than 735,000 people in the United States.
Despite polls showing that more parents than before are willing to have their children vaccinated, strong hesitation remains. According to Kaiser, only a third of parents of children aged 5 to 11 say they will vaccinate their child, while one in four say they will not allow it under any circumstances.
“We know we have a lot of work to do,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
“This survey data seems very consistent with our situation with adults last December, when we rolled out the adult vaccines. We have done a tremendous amount of work over the past 10 months, in education, communication, information provision, getting vaccines to really convenient places. “
Walensky said childhood vaccines would be available nationwide in tens of thousands of locations in pediatricians and primary care offices, children’s hospitals, pharmacies, school clinics and community health centers.
“We are doing absolutely all of this hard work now,” she said. “As soon as we have both FDA clearance and CDC recommendations, there will be a vaccine so kids can start rolling up their sleeves. “