Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Friday that children in the US would start getting vaccinated in late spring or early summer of Kovid-19.
The chief medical adviser to Joe Biden, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was speaking at a White House coronavirus briefing, an incident restored by the new president after collapsing during the final months of the Trump administration.
“Hopefully, by the time we arrive in late spring and early summer, we can have children vaccinated,” Fauci said.
Kovid-19 vaccines are not currently approved for children. The logistics of providing supplies and shots for adults are proving to be challenges for manufacturers, administrations and state governments. As of Thursday, only 1.3% of Americans had received the required two doses of currently available vaccines.
But vaccination of children is an important step in the search for widespread immunity to the virus that killed about 26 million infected and more than 433,000 people in the US. For the US to reach “herd immunity”, or widespread resistance, about 70% to 85% of the population must be vaccinated. Children constitute about 25% of the population.
“Children are not as seriously ill as adults [from Covid-19] But they can still get sick and some people have died, ”public health expert Dr. Lena Wayne told The Associated Press. “Children can also be vectors of transmission, and getting children vaccinated is important.”
The Federal Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved vaccines for children, due to insufficient testing data. Fauci said the data was being gathered through a process called “age de-escalation testing”. The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine received emergency approval for use in people 16 and older. The next phase, Fauci said, involves testing children below 12. If it succeeds, after another round of testing, by the age of nine.
Thousands of people were involved since the initial tests to verify the safety and effectiveness of Pfizer and Modern vaccines, age-related tests on children can be performed using small groups.
“You don’t want to … go through an efficacy test, where you’re involving thousands of children,” Fauci said. “What you can do is, in a very small test, measured in the hundreds to thousands … what we call protection and immunity.”
It is a term for whether the vaccine successfully triggers the immune system response.
After a disappointingly slow start, the US is handling about 1m shots per day for adults, although the speed is still seen as insufficient. Biden’s administration has aimed for 100m shots in its first 100 days and the president has talked of getting 1.5m shots a day.
“We’re going to make sure everyone gets enough,” Biden visited the veterans at the hospital near Washington on Friday. “We are going to get nationwide supplies.”
Two more vaccines from US companies are close to FDA approval. A shot by Johnson & Johnson is required.
Biden aims to reopen most of the school by summer, and directs government agencies to work with communities to pursue it.
His US rescue plan in Congress calls for $ 50 billion to finance a major expansion of the law test, which is considered necessary for the safe re-operation of schools and businesses. Robust testing can detect outbreaks before they spread and trigger a shutdown. Under Donald Trump, the trial in the US was a chaotic start. Experts say that it is still in many parts of the country.