COVID-19 Vaccines May Be Available to 5- to 11-Year-Olds by Early November: Fauci

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
October 25, 2021 Updated: October 25, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines may be available for children between the ages of 5 and 11 as early as November, top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Oct. 24.

“If all goes well, and we get the regulatory approval, and the recommendation from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], it’s entirely possible, if not very likely, that vaccines will be available for children from 5 to 11 within the first week or two of November,” Fauci told ABC.

Pfizer in early October formally asked the Food and Drug Administration to expand the authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine to young children. On Oct. 11, the vaccine maker published a study suggesting that smaller doses of its shot are nearly 91 percent effective against symptomatic illness in children ages 5–11.

A total of 2,268 children from ages 5 to 11 were included in the trial and received a dose of 10 micrograms, or one-third of the adult dose. Twice as many were given the child-level dose of the vaccine compared to others who received a placebo. Among those who received the placebo, 16 tested positive for COVID-19. Three cases were recorded among those who were administered the trial vaccine.

The FDA said in a report on Oct. 22 that Pfizer–BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine meets the agency’s criteria for the immune response it generated in children aged 5 to 11; the agency also said that the vaccine would likely provide more benefits than risks in most scenarios.

On Oct. 26, members of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will hold a meeting to vote on whether they will recommend authorizing the shots.

Advisers to the CDC are also scheduled to meet on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 to give recommendations for the vaccine, which will help to inform a final decision by its director. If authorized, roughly 28 million more children in the United States would be eligible to receive the vaccine, making it the first U.S. COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids.

Elsewhere during the Oct. 24 interview, Fauci weighed in on reports that the COVID-19 virus outbreak may have initially occurred in a laboratory. He said that the implication that the research led to COVID-19 is “unconscionable” and “molecularly impossible.”

It comes as U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) announced on Oct. 19 that he is leading a group of Republicans in introducing a measure that will temporarily halt federal research grants from going to universities and other organizations that are conducting “risky research on potential pandemic pathogens.”

In a statement announcing the new legislation, Marshall said the bill, known as the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act, was proposed in response to findings from congressional inquiries and media investigations into such research.

Marshall said such probes had revealed national security issues, including federal agencies authorizing “dangerous research” with certain countries that “may have contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.