As COVID-19 cases continue to climb among children, health officials hope to approve a vaccine that will be suitable for kids by this fall. President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci joined ABC “This Week” Sunday (Sept. 19) to discuss vaccine updates.
While speaking with host Martha Raddatz, Dr. Fauci said he expects there will be a vaccine for children soon. “It will certainly be this fall,” he said. “When you talk about the rollout for vaccines there will be a bit of a difference in time frame, maybe by a couple to a few weeks between Pfizer and Moderna, and others. So, what we’re going to almost certainly see is that sometime in the next few weeks, as we get into October, we’ll be able to see the vaccines for children get enough data to be presented for safety and immunogenicity.”
“But when you get to Moderna, it will probably be a few weeks beyond that maybe until the end of October, the beginning of November, but in the fall,” he continued. “Rather than specifically saying what week, sometime in the mid to late fall we will be seeing enough data from the children 11 down to five to be able to make a decision to vaccinate them.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it hoped to review the data from Pfizer and Moderna as quickly as possible. In a press release, the FDA specifically stated it “will work closely with each manufacturer to ensure this data analysis is robust and meets regulatory standards.” Due to the rise in COVID cases, fueled by the Delta variant, and the return to schools, the FDA is facing enormous pressure to approve the vaccine quickly.
“When a completed request for emergency use authorization (EUA) or approval has been received by the FDA, the agency will carefully, thoroughly and independently examine the data to evaluate benefits and risks and be prepared to complete its review as quickly as possible, likely in a matter of weeks rather than months,” the statement reads.
The timeline for the vaccines to be approved for children ages five - 11 relies largely on the manufacturers. Pfizer, which has already had its vaccine approved for adolescents ages 12- 15, will reportedly have enough data to hand over to the FDA by the end of September, Reuters reports.
Watch Dr. Fauci on ABC “This Week” below: