According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease official, children ages 5-11 could be eligible for Covid vaccines by early next month. He projected a schedule for young Americans to be vaccinated with at least one dose by early November and fully vaccinated by the holidays.
Regulators for the Food and Drug Administration released their assessment of the data from the Pfizer BioNTech entry for the emergency approval of a lower-dose vaccine for young children on Friday. An FDA advisory panel will review Pfizer’s application on Tuesday for individuals ages 5-11. Children aged 12 and over have been vaccinated since May.
Pfizer’s data “looks good in terms of efficacy and safety,” said Dr. Fauci on the ABC newscast “This Week”.
According to Pfizer and BioNTech, the children vaccinated in the study and given doses one-third the adult dose developed robust immune responses after two vaccinations three weeks apart. The companies said the vaccine’s rate of effectiveness in children reduced the risk of symptomatic infection by 91 percent.
The most common side effects in children were fatigue, headache, muscle pain and chills. According to the FDA, the data submitted showed no cases of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle or pericarditis, inflammation of the outer lining of the heart, rare complications reported in boys and men who received the vaccine in other studies and in other applications from the real world.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was also interviewed on two Sunday news broadcasts on upcoming decisions on childhood vaccines and appeared to promise that decisions would not be delayed. “We know how many parents are interested in getting their children vaccinated and we want to work on it as soon as possible,” said Dr. Walensky to Fox News Sunday.
The past week has spawned a lot of regulatory guidance for those who can get booster shots or extra doses of Covid vaccines, giving a large segment of the US population access to more protection.
Both Dr. Walensky and Dr. Fauci tried to dispel confusion about booster vaccinations by explaining the “mix and match” option of primary and booster vaccinations.
Booster vaccinations for all three vaccines available in the US have been approved. Additional vaccinations with Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines have been approved for people 65 years of age and older, people with pre-existing conditions, and all adults whose living or working conditions pose a high risk of exposure to the virus. Anyone over the age of 18 who received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine at least two months ago is also entitled to a booster vaccine.
People can get a booster shot that’s different from the original shot they first received, experts said.
“If you were originally vaccinated with a product, it could and would be appropriate and safe and effective to use the third vaccination for the mRNA and the second vaccination for J. &. J. from another product? ”said Dr. Fauci. “The answer is, it’s perfectly fine.”