Anthony Fauci announced that children between 5 and 11 years old in the US could be vaccinated against the coronavirus from November.
The chief epidemiologist at the White House said that once they have "regulatory approval and recommendation from the CDC," immunization of that population could begin in the first week or two of next month.
Vaccines against the coronavirus for children between the ages of 5 and 11 will likely be available in the first half of November in the United States, the country's leading infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, announced this Sunday.
"If all goes well, and if we get regulatory approval and recommendation from the CDC, it is entirely possible, if not very likely, that vaccines will be available to children ages 5 to 11 within the first week or two of November." said the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases of the USA in an interview with the program "This Week," of the ABC network.
Officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing the request from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech for authorization of their two-dose vaccine for younger children. Their advisory panel external parties will submit their recommendation on October 26.
The FDA generally follows the advice of its panel but is not required to do so.
Advisers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will discuss vaccine recommendations at a meeting on Nov. 2-3, helping make the final decision on the regulatory process.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, speaking to Fox News Sunday, also said the agency wanted to move quickly: "After they (the FDA) review all the scientific data and make a regulatory decision, it will be the turn of the CDC to meet (...), and if all goes well (...) we will act quickly".
"We know how many parents are interested in vaccinating their children between the ages of 5 and 11, and we intend to act as quickly as possible," he added.
Once licensed, approximately 28 million more children in the United States would be eligible to receive the first COVID-19 vaccine for young children in the United States.
The formula developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is now available for adolescents ages 12 to 17, and the companies are still studying its functions in children under five years of age.
While children have a lower death rate from COVID-19, many face long-term illnesses and symptoms that are still being studied. In addition, many adults who have doubted or opposed the coronavirus vaccine, and even some who have not rejected it, are expected to resist giving the injection to their children.
When asked if schools should require a vaccine for children, Walensky replied: "Right now, we are in the authorization. I think we need to vaccinate children and get approval before we can pass judgment on this issue. "
People in the United States eligible for a booster dose of the covid-19 vaccine will have the flexibility to choose between any of those approved by the country's health authorities. However, an expert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends applying the same one that was initially administered.
"It is allowed to choose the desired vaccine, but it is recommended to maintain the same vaccination schedule," Carmen Sofía Arriola, an epidemiologist at the CDC, based in Atlanta, told the EFE agency.
Arriola pointed out that the three vaccines that are available in the United States - from Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) - "are safe and effective and therefore there is no problem in choosing any of them."
"It is important to consult with your doctor before deciding if there is any doubt about which is the best for each person," said the specialist, explaining that the guideline change occurred after analyzing the existing data and after a unanimous vote from a CDC expert panel.
For those who have received the Moderna or Pfizer, the CDC recommends the "booster" or booster six months after the second dose, for those over 65, adults over 18 who live or work in "risk" places, and for those with chronic or immunosuppressive diseases, Arriola said.
In addition, essential workers, such as health workers and teachers, and the indigent and people in shelters and prisons, have been included.