CDC Director: Agencies Urgently Working on COVID-19 Vaccine for Younger Children
“We’re waiting for the companies to submit the data to the FDA, we’re anticipating that will happen in the fall,” she told the “Today Show” on Sept. 13. “We will look at that data from the FDA, from the CDC, with the urgency that we all feel for getting our kids vaccinated and we’re hoping by the end of the year.”
Her comments contrast with health advisory panels in several other countries, including the United Kingdom, that haven’t recommended COVID-19 shots for children aged 5 to 11. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency authorization to vaccinate children aged 12 to 17.
Last week, FDA executives, including Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock and Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research chief Peter Marks, said in a statement that the agency will carefully look at data for younger children once it becomes available.
The officials said the FDA is then “prepared to complete its review as quickly as possible, likely in a matter of weeks rather than months,” adding that “the agency’s ability to review these submissions rapidly will depend in part on the quality and timeliness of the submissions by manufacturers.”
Should the CDC hand down a recommendation that younger children get vaccinated, it’s likely that some school districts will mandate them for in-person classes. Already, the Los Angeles Unified School District last week voted to mandate vaccines for children aged 12 and up in order to attend classes on campus.
But in other countries, some officials have noted that children have an extremely low risk of becoming seriously ill, hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19, the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) earlier in September said it will take a “precautionary approach,” saying that “given this very low risk, considerations on the potential harms and benefits of vaccination are very finely balanced.”
In June, scientists from University College London, as well as the Universities of York, Bristol, and Liverpool, discovered that most children who died of COVID-19 had underlying health problems. Overall, the COVID-19 mortality rate among children is 2 deaths per 1 million children in England, they found.
“We hope this data will be reassuring for children and young people and their families,” said Dr. Elizabeth Whittaker, from the Centre for Paediatrics and Child Health and Imperial College London, reported the BBC. She said that even after the emergence of the Delta variant, it hasn’t affected the child mortality rate.