Dr. Anthony Fauci at the White House COVID-19 response forum on Friday, citing the latest information from Pfizer on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine in children.
Pfizer and his German colleague BioNTech announced this week that preliminary results from testing of their COVID-19 vaccine in older children, ages 12 to 15, have proven to be safe and fully effective. The company said it plans to amend its Food and Drug Administration's emergency use permit "in the coming weeks," and hopes to remove the youth gun "before the start of the next school year."
The company says it is also awaiting results ahead of its preliminary testing of young children, with details of the "second half of 2021." That would allow the FDA to vaccinate green lights for children under six months of age "in early 2022."
Moderna announced last month that it had begun testing its COVID-19 vaccine for participants as young as six months old. The company has yet to report the results from their youth trial, which began in December.
And Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that it too has expanded its ongoing tests to include young people.
Fauci, who assists the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which helps administer immunizations to Modern and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, had earlier predicted back in January that the FDA could approve vaccinations for American children "by the time they arrive in spring and early summer."
He reviewed that prediction in February, saying that vaccination for high school students might come "early in the fall," but it may be too late for "the first day of school." Details of the safety and operation of firearms for elementary school children would not be until 2022, both Fauci and drug dealers had predicted.
Now Fauci believes that pediatric trials of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine could meet their goals by the end of the year, a NIAID official has asked for clarification of Fauci's comments to CBS News.
"In terms of the number of young people, the goal is obviously to vaccinate everyone. And children and young people make up 22%," Fauci said.
So far, with the exception of a few exceptions, nationwide vaccination has not included children under 16 years of age. Currently, the FDA has approved the use of Pfizer vaccine for recipients aged 16 years and older. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shorts are allowed for ages 18 and older.
The news comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to set new guidelines for completely vaccinated Americans. The organization has also recently released its guidelines for dividing desks in classrooms, among many things Biden officials hope will speed up the reopening of schools.
Children are generally considered to be at lower risk of serious illness from COVID-19 than adults, but they can still catch it and spread it to others. Many children experience side effects or no symptoms at all, but some have been seriously ill or have long-term health problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that there have been more than 3.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in children and at least 279 deaths.
"We all want to get back to what we love. Getting more people vaccinated as soon as possible and taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is a way out of this epidemic and back to our daily activities," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday.