Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci announced on Thursday, whilst adding a disclaimer that he “can’t guarantee it,” babies and toddlers aged 6 months to 5 years could be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination by spring.
“Hopefully within a reasonably short period of time, likely the beginning of next year in 2022, in the first quarter of 2022, it will be available to them,” Fauci told Insider in an interview, though he cautioned that he was speculating, adding, “you’ve got to do the clinical trial.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “compared with adults, children and adolescents who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 are more commonly asymptomatic (never develop symptoms) or have mild, non-specific symptoms (e.g. headache, sore throat).”
“Similar to adults with SARS-CoV-2 infections, children and adolescents can spread SARS-CoV-2 to others when they do not have symptoms or have mild, non-specific symptoms and thus might not know that they are infected and infectious. Children are less likely to develop severe illness or die from COVID-19,” the CDC stated.
Pfizer-BioNTech are expected to release the results of their clinical trial for children ages two to five years and six months to two years as early as the end of 2021. Pfizer’s clinical trials for children five to eleven years old recorded to no deaths as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine. Their trial among 12-25-year-olds also reported no deaths.
The company could file for approval for its vaccine in children and babies as early as the end of this month, ABC Tampa reported. As for whether or not it the vaccine will be approved, that depends on the findings from the trial according to experts.
“The Food and Drug Administration and CDC won’t approve the vaccine until there’s some data showing safety and efficacy. There’s every reason to think that it will be safe, and it will be efficacious. But the agencies need to be cautious, justifiably so, and so they’re not going to give the approval until they have the data,” Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician and immunologist at Boston College, told CNN Health. If vaccine trials prove ‘the jab’ to be safe and effective in children, Pfizer will likely be the first to receive approvals.
“We don’t have enough data now to present it for a regulatory approach, but right now, the data are being collected and analyzed. So we will be able to answer the question, I believe, within a reasonable period of time regarding the safety and the immunogenicity among those lower than 5 years old,” Fauci told CNN in November.