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A COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 years old will be available around Halloween, experts say

A COVID-19 vaccine for kids is coming soon. Here’s what needs to happen

Utah Air National Guard Cpt. Raymond Searles gives Brynn Jackson a COVID-19 vaccine.
Utah Air National Guard Cpt. Raymond Searles gives Brynn Jackson a COVID-19 vaccine during a Utah County Health clinic at Equestrian Park in Highland on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. A COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 years old will likely be available by the end of the year, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

A COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 years old will likely be available by the end of the year, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

Walensky said on NBC’s “Today” that the vaccine will be available shortly as children deal with a new COVID-19 surge.

“We want to move quickly, we anticipate moving quickly, but we also want to have the efficacy data and the safety data that the (Food and Drug Administration) will require ... to make sure that it is the right thing for kids,” she said.

Over the weekend, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner, said on ”Face the Nation” that Pfizer is expecting to have new data on a vaccine for children by the end of September.

The vaccine may become available by Halloween, he said.

“In a best-case scenario, given that timeline they’ve just laid out, you could potentially have a vaccine available to children aged 5 to 11 by Halloween,” Gottlieb said. “If everything goes well, the Pfizer data package is in order, and FDA ultimately makes a positive determination, I have confidence in Pfizer in terms of the data that they’ve collected. But this is really up to the Food and Drug Administration to make an objective determination.”

COVID-19 hospitalizations for children have reached a new high as schools reopen across the country, according to CNN. In fact, a record of 2,396 children were hospitalized by COVID-19 as of last last week with an average of 369 children being hospitalized every day.

“What we’re seeing now is extremely concerning,” Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, associate professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told CNN.

“This virus is really going for the people who are not vaccinated. And among those people are children who don’t qualify for the vaccine and children and teens who qualify but are choosing not to get it.”