WASHINGTON, D.C.: Leading U.S. health officials have said the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could be authorized to be administered to children aged 5 to 11 by the end of October.
The sources added that Pfizer will provide the required data from clinical trials to request emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this age group by September.
The FDA's decision on whether to authorize vaccine shots for younger children is also eagerly anticipated by many Americans, especially amidst the surge in infections caused by the Delta variant at the start of the school season.
A source explained that during an online town hall meeting on Friday, attended by National Institutes of Health staff, top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci outlined the timetable for the Pfizer vaccine, while the second source noted the FDA anticipated a similar timeline.
Fauci stated, "By the time we get to the first couple of weeks of October, the Pfizer product will likely be ready," adding Moderna will take about three weeks longer to collect and analyze data on children, with a decision likely coming in November.
On Thursday, Moderna told investors that data from its study on children should be ready by the end of 2021.
The FDA stressed that it will evaluate the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for children as soon as companies submit their data.
Meanwhile, BioNTech, Pfizer's partner, told Der Spiegel it will request international authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as five over the next few weeks.