US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said it’s possible that the process for authorizing a Covid-19 vaccine for younger children could be completed by the end of the calendar year.
The US Food and Drug Administration will work “incredibly hard” to review the data on children as soon as they have it from the companies, he told CNN on Tuesday.
“I think it’s possible that we might see that process complete by the end of the calendar year, which would be wonderful for kids like mine and many kids out there who can’t get vaccinated,” Murthy said.
“Until then, Brianna, there is something really important we can do to protect our children,” he said. “And that’s to make sure that the people around them are vaccinated.”
Also on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, both suggested that vaccines for younger children could come by the end of this year.
On NBC’s Today Show, Fauci said “I think there’s a reasonable chance that that will be the case,” when asked about the likelihood that under 12s could get the vaccine before the Christmas holidays.
Pfizer and Moderna are working with the NIH clinical trials group and to get data on the safety, the correct dose and the immunogenicity of their vaccines. This data will be given to the FDA ultimately for them to review.
“I hope all of that process will take place expeditiously,” he said. “And that we will have it on the timetable that you just mentioned, hopefully, by the mid late fall and early winter.”
On ABC’s Good Morning America, Collins said that he thinks realistically, approval for vaccines for people under the age of 12 will come late this year.
“Pfizer has not submitted their data to the FDA on five to 11-year-olds, that’s expected maybe by late September,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “Keep in mind, kids are not just scaled down adults, they have different immune systems and metabolism, you really have to do the careful trials to make sure you got the dose right and there aren’t any surprises."