Children under 12 years old won’t have a COVID-19 vaccine available to them until sometime this winter, according to NBC News.

When can children get vaccines?

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that emergency authorization for COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12 years old will come in midwinter 2021, according to NBC News.

  • The move could “bring relief to many parents who have been unable to vaccinate their children,” according to NBC News.

By then, the FDA hopes to give these vaccines full approval, which will relieve some families who are waiting for full FDA approval before giving their child a COVID-19 vaccine. The current vaccines — which are available to children 12 years old and up — are under emergency use authorization.

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Should children be vaccinated?

Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah and director of epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, told the Deseret News that getting children vaccinated remains a key part in stopping the pandemic.

  • “Adolescents are going to play a huge part in that,” Pavia told the Deseret News in May.

Should children wear masks?

For now, experts recommend children who are not vaccinated to wear masks, as I wrote for the Deseret News. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the novel coronavirus, recently told MSNBC that children should be masking up to avoid COVID-19 infections.

  • “Unvaccinated children of a certain age greater than 2 years old should be wearing masks,” Fauci said on MSNBC. “No doubt about that. That’s the way to protect them from getting infected, because if they do, they can then spread the infection to someone else.”
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Fauci told CNN back in May that children should have masks when they’re in public, too.

  • “The children do (need to wear masks) when they’re out there playing with their friends, particularly in an indoor situation, they do,” he said.