Pfizer-BioNTech has requested emergency use authorization for its COVID vaccine for kids ages 5-11, according to the New York Times. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce a ruling on the authorization sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving. This may be welcome news for many parents who are anxious to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible, ensuring their kids are as safe as possible in school, during after-school programs, and more.
When will the COVID vaccine be available for kids under 12?
While none of the vaccines have been approved by the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children younger than 12, Pfizer-BioNTech asked the FDA to authorize emergency use of its vaccine for children ages 5-11 on Oct. 7. If it’s approved for emergency use, it could help protect more than 28 million people in the U.S., according to the New York Times.
The FDA has said it will follow the science when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines for kids. One the emergency use authorization request is received by the FDA, it 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. However, the agency’s ability to review these submissions rapidly will depend in part on the quality and timeliness of the submissions by manufacturers.”
The Times goes on to report that the FDA is expected to announce a ruling on the vaccine for kids between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
When can my teen get vaccinated?
The CDC now recommends everyone ages 12 and older get the COVID vaccine. Vaccinating children would help the country as a whole reach herd immunity, in addition to keeping those who are unable to get vaccinated safe and restoring stability to the education system.
Who would produce the vaccine for children?
Despite the urgency for safely vaccinating all ages, the 2-shot Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently the only one with emergency use authorization for people ages 12 and older. Federal officials approved the Pfizer vaccine for teens in May 2021. Meanwhile, the 2-shot Moderna and the 1-shot Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccines are approved for individuals ages 18 and older.
Moderna has announced its vaccine was effective in children ages 12-17, but it has not yet been authorized for use in that age group, according to the FDA. Moderna is currently in a clinical trial for ages 6 months to 11 years. Johnson and Johnson has no available information about pediatric studies yet.
Where can my child get vaccinated in New York?
If your child is eligible, you can use this online tool to find a vaccination location and make your appointment. Eligible groups in NYC can use the portal at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov to find a location nearest them. You can also reach out to your doctor’s office to see if they’re scheduling COVID vaccine appointments for patients.
What should I continue doing if my child is not yet eligible for the COVID vaccine?
To keep kids healthy post-quarantine, it’s important for unvaccinated individuals to still follow CDC, state, and city guidelines of wearing face masks, social distancing, and staying home when feeling sick.
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