Dr. Fauci expects that younger kids can possibly start to get vaccinated by end of this year, beginning of next year
Back in December 2020 when the COVID-19 vaccine first became available for public use, it was anyone’s guess when healthy people under age 65 would get their chance at a shot. Then, by May 1, all adults could get the vaccine if they wanted and a couple weeks later, kids over 12 joined the mix. It’s clear the vaccine rollout is going much quicker than anticipated and now Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Biden, says kids as young as four-years-old could get vaccinated as early as December 2021.
On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Fauci revealed during an Axios virtual event that kids as young as four “would likely be able to get vaccinated by the time we reach the end of calendar year 2021 and at the latest, into the first quarter of 2022.”
He says he totally recommends that young kids get the shot and added, “If I had grandchildren, I would certainly recommend they get vaccinated.”
Also that “if I had grandchildren” line? Shoutout to shaming your adult children into having kids in a national interview about public health! Go off Fauci!
Pfizer was the first vaccine brand to get emergency use authorization for 12 to 15-year-olds, but both Pfizer and Moderna are currently conducting clinical trials of their vaccines in groups of kids as young as six months. Also, Pfizer previously said that they plan to ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of its vaccine for children under 12 by September 2021. NPR points out that an emergency request for infants and toddlers could come a few months later, making Fauci’s predictions seem pretty accurate.
Obviously, predictions in the pandemic have been, how do you say, a shit show? Experts predicted that healthy adults would get the vaccine in July, but most people could access one as early as April. Experts, and Fauci, made a lot of predictions about herd immunity, but apparently that’s just not going to happen anymore. However, we do need those predictions, even if they change, so that families and public health officials and schools can set some form of expectation for the future.
However, when those vaccines become available for kids, Fauci will have to fight another battle: Vaccine hesitancy.
Just as we’re seeing with adults currently, hesitancy seems to be even greater among parents. In a nationwide study of more than 2,000 parents by medRxiv, only 49.4% of respondents were planning to vaccinate their child against the virus. The Kaiser Family Foundation‘s separate survey of more than 2000 parents during the month of April found that only 30% of respondents planned to get their kid vaccinated when it was available to them. Another 26% are planning to “wait and see” before making a decision.
Well, for many families, they’ve been stuck in a quasi holding pattern as families figure out what’s “safe” for a group of vaccinated adults and unvaccinated kids to do. For that group, this latest vaccine update is welcome news.