COVID-19 vaccines for younger kids could be available from October
Amid surging Delta variant cases in the USA, COVID-19 vaccines for children younger than 12 years could be available by the end of next month, a media report has said. A report in The New York Times quoted two health experts as saying that COVID-19 vaccines for children aged five years to 11 years could be available as soon as the end of October.
It will require expeditious review of clinical data: Expert
The report quoted Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration who also sits on the board of Pfizer, as saying that getting the green light for younger children will require careful and expeditious review of the clinical data.
Pfizer vaccine could be ready by October 31: Dr. Gottlieb
Dr. Gottlieb also said, "In a best-case scenario, the Pfizer vaccine could be ready by October 31 for younger children. I've confidence in Pfizer in terms of the data that they've collected." Meanwhile, Dr. James Versalovic, the interim pediatrician-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital, said that he agreed with Dr. Gottlieb on the possibility of the vaccine for younger children getting approval by October.
We continue to be on a high plateau: Dr. Versalovic
"We're doing everything we can now to move these trials ahead," Dr. Versalovic was quoted as saying in the report. As hospitalization of children rises amid a surge in the highly transmissible Delta variant, Dr. Versalovic said that he and his colleagues are seeing record numbers of infected children. "We continue to be on a high plateau and may hit another peak," he added.
Children diagnosed with COVID-19 are likely to have mild symptoms
The report said that both Pfizer and Moderna are gathering data on the safety, correct dose, and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in children. "Compared with adults, children diagnosed with COVID-19 are more likely to have mild symptoms or none at all. Children are also far less likely to develop severe illness, be hospitalized, or die from the disease," the NYT report said.
USA is the worst-hit country from the pandemic
Notably, the USA is the worst-hit country from the pandemic in the world. The country has registered a total number of 4,09,55,201 COVID-19 cases and 6,59,970 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus data.