- The FDA has recommended a COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of 12, allowing children under the age of 12 to receive the vaccine.
- However, parents of younger children are concerned about when their child will receive the vaccine.
- Vaccine research for younger children is ongoing, with results expected in early fall.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of Americans have received at least one injection of the COVID-19 vaccine. This took the world one step closer to the end of the pandemic. However, a large portion of the population has yet to receive the vaccine. Many of those are children and teenagers who were not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Stay with us to know when children under 12 get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Until this week
On May 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine’s emergency use authorization to adolescents as young as 12 years old.
This development and the widespread availability of vaccine doses in the U.S. would help the country regaining a sense of normalcy sooner.
The more immunized children we have, the easier it will be for our families to safely reopen, as well as reopen schools and get after-school sports, said Dr. Walter Dehority.
Other COVID-19 vaccines for younger teenagers could be approved in the coming months.
Younger children will have to wait longer — probably until early fall or late in the year. This is because research for this age group is still in its early stages.
Here’s an update on when will children under 12 get the COVID-19 vaccine
When will children under 12 get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The short answer is that doctors may give Pfizer vaccines to children aged 12 to 15 starting this month, according to Dr. Englund. She adds that because demand has slowed at mass vaccination sites, this age group will most likely get full vaccination against COVID-19 by August or September. Dr. Englund adds that authority can prioritize certain populations or areas over others.
Pfizer executives said in a new business presentation, according to CNBC, that they intend to file for emergency clearance for vaccine use in toddlers and young children in September. In November, Pfizer will also request approval for infants. Pfizer and BioNTech teams began clinical trials in children aged 6 months and up in late March.
Children and teenagers 12–16 years of age
BioNTech-Pfizer: Currently approved
The FDA granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 16 and up in December 2020. The FDA expanded the EUA to include 12- to 15-year-olds on May 10.
This was based on data from the companies published in March. It showed that the vaccine had high efficacy against symptomatic coronavirus infection in this age group.
The CDC’s vaccine advisory committee may meet on May 12 to discuss whether they should recommend the vaccine for younger adolescents.
Dr. Andi Shane said in a Facebook Live event on May 11 that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be available to children aged 12 to 15 shortly after the CDC’s advisory committee makes its decision.
Moreover, one of the benefits of electronic registration is that people can make appointments ahead of time.
Moderna-NIAID: Emergency use permission could be granted by early summer
The FDA approved the Moderna-NIAID vaccine for people aged 18 and up in December. Moderna reported that the vaccine had a 96 percent efficacy against symptomatic coronavirus infection in 12- to 17-year-olds in an early analysis of phase 2 and 3 results. The company has not stated when a EUA proposal for the vaccine’s use in this age range would be sent to the FDA.
This will be decided when the organization submits the data to the FDA and when the FDA and the CDC review the results.
Children 2 to 11 years old
Dehority, who is in charge of the Moderna pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trial at the University of New Mexico, says vaccine trials in children and adolescents are similar to adult studies in several ways, with a few key differences.
Before children can participate, we must obtain parental approval. Children who are old enough must also have their permission to participate.
Moreover, we will often proceed at a slower pace with what we call “dose-escalation studies because children are not little adults. We don’t know what [of vaccine] would work. So we often start with low doses and gradually increase until we find the correct level.
Pfizer-BioNTech: Emergency use authorization possible by early fall
Pfizer is currently recruiting children aged six months to eleven years old for a pediatric vaccine study.
During an earnings call in early May, the company stated that it expects to seek a EUA for its vaccine for children aged 2 to 11 in September. The exact date will be decided by how quickly the company will finish the research in this age group.
Moderna-NIAID: Emergency usage permission may be granted by early fall
Moderna is now looking for children aged 6 months to 11 years old to participate in a pediatric vaccine trial.
The company has not clarified when the results of this trial will be available. But if it follows Pfizer’s timetable, it could request a EUA for 2- to 11-year-olds by early fall.
Children 6 months to 2 years old
Pfizer-BioNTech: Emergency use authorization possible by late 2021
Pfizer is currently conducting a pediatric vaccine trial involving children aged 6 months to 2 years.
During last week’s earnings call, the company says that it plans to request a EUA for this age group in the final quarter of 2021. Again, this timeline is subject to change as the study progresses.
Moderna-NIAID: Potential emergency approval by late 2021
Moderna is now looking for younger children to participate in its pediatric vaccine trial.
The company has not clarified when it expects to have resulted from this study. However, if it meets Pfizer’s schedule, the EUA proposal for this age group could come late in the year.
Pediatricians, parents, and public health authorities are eagerly awaiting the results of vaccine trials in younger children.
Ongoing Safety Monitoring
Pfizer Inc. submitted a proposal to continue monitoring the vaccine’s protection while used under EUA as part of the original EUA request. They updated this plan to include the newly approved adolescent population. It includes longer-term safety follow-up for participants in ongoing clinical trials and other activities to monitor the safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Pfizer Inc. and vaccination suppliers must report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System:
- All vaccine administration failures
- Severe adverse effects
- Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
- Hospitalization or death as a result of COVID-19 cases