Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that coronavirus vaccines could be made available for 5- to 11-year-olds early next month. During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the Food and Drug Administration and its advisory committee are set to meet Oct. 26 to consider an application from Pfizer and BioNtech to start the rollout of the children’s vaccine.
A regulatory decision could be handed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the following week. “So, If all goes well, and we get the regulatory approval and recommendation from CDC, it is 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,” Dr. Fauci said.
The vaccines for children use a smaller dose than the ones given to adults. Federal officials said last week they worked with Pfizer to make sure the child vaccines are clearly labeled and provide smaller vials and needles.
A Kaiser Family Foundation report published late last month found that roughly 1 in 4 parents said they would “definitely not” have their children get vaccinated. Another 32% said they would take a “wait and see” approach.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday the data are similar to what health officials faced when vaccines were rolled out for adults last December.
“So we’re doing absolutely all of that hard work now, and we have that hard work to come for both our children, as well as our parents, and for the 64 million people who have yet to roll up the sleeves as well,” Dr. Walensky said.