The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was cleared for emergency use in kids 12-15 back in May, and now we are closer than ever to an approved COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 and under.
Any parent worried about their child getting COVID (or spreading it to a vulnerable family member) knows that even if they gear up their kid with a mask, hand sanitizer, and all the common sense in the world, there is still a chance their child can get COVID without a vaccination. It’s stressful, to say at the very least. But we can take a collective breath. It seems like there is a date on the horizon — or at least a tangible timeline — for the much-talked about, often-promised COVID vaccine for kids 12 and under.
The makers of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are preparing to release the results of their study involving 5-to-11-year-olds, which seem promising. “In the coming weeks we will present the results of our study on the 5- to-11-year-olds worldwide to the authorities and apply for approval of the vaccine for this age group, including here in Europe,” BioNTech Chief Physician Özlem Türeci told German newspaper Der Spiegel.
Vaccines for children 12 and under could start rolling out in as soon as a month.
“We’re already preparing for production. The vaccine is the same, but less dosed and there is less need to fill up,” Türeci said. Basically, the study has to go through all the legal hoops, and then we can start seeing some movement in actual vaccinations for kids. In Europe, children under the age of 12 could start getting vaccinated as early as mid-October.
“It looks good, everything is going according to plan,” BioNTech cofounder Uğur Şahin said. Data sets on children ages six months and older are expected by the end of the year — hopefully meaning even more vaccine eligibility for our kids.
Schools across the country have reopened with various COVID compliance mandates.
Some states like Florida have been in bitter battles with the federal government concerning mask mandates in schools. Other regions, like Los Angeles County, are requiring all eligible students to be vaccinated, along with staff. Even with the promise of a vaccine for kids, Şahin still urged everyone currently eligible for the vaccine to get it ASAP if we want to avoid another massive surge in infections as people move indoors over the coming months.
“As a society, we still have around 60 days to avoid a harsh winter. We should do what we can to mobilize as many people as possible in these two months,” Şahin said. Türeci added, “Everyone who is vaccinated also helps. We shouldn’t give up. ” Agreed! Listen to the science. Get vaccinated. Urge those around you to do the same. Let’s continue to keep each other safe.