(FreedomBeacon.com)- By next week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a vaccine for kids as young as 12 years old.
A Fox News report cites a federal official in confirming that the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer should be approved for use in kids as young as 12 in the near future. That would set up the possibility that shots could begin to be administered before the next school year in the fall.
In studies, Pfizer found that its COVID-19 vaccine provides ample protection for younger kids as well. The company’s vaccine is already in use for people 16 years old and older.
The FDA would have to expand and amend the emergency use authorization that has already been issued for the Pfizer vaccine. That’s because it’s only approved to cover people age 16 or older right now.
The same official who spoke to Fox News said it’s possible that Pfizer’s vaccine could be approved for kids even younger than 12 sometime in the fall. Of course, that all depends on how trials go. They are currently underway right now.
In late March, Pfizer first released its preliminary results from the vaccine study that involved 2,260 U.S. kids between the ages of 12 and 15. The data showed there were no cases of COVID-19 at all among the adolescents who were fully vaccinated. That’s compared to 18 such cases for kids who were given placebo shots.
The side effects for this age cohort were also similar to that of young adults in the previous study. The main reported side effects were fever, fatigue, pain and chills, and those happened primarily after the second of the two shots.
Pfizer will continue to track the participants in the study for two more years. This is done to gain more information about the long-term safety and protection of the vaccine.
Moderna is also in the process of studying the effects of its COVID-19 vaccine on younger adults. Currently, the company’s vaccine is approved for people ages 18 and older.
It’s expected that sometime this summer, Moderna will have data to report from its studies of 12 to 17-year-olds.
At the same time, both companies are also already underway studying their vaccines on children as young as 6 months old.
Both companies offer a two-dose vaccine right now. To date, more than 131 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in America, though the overall demand for vaccines has waned in recent weeks.
Younger people are at a significantly lower risk of the serious side effects that come from COVID-19. However, they continue to make up a larger share of the new virus cases in the U.S.
Part of the reason for this is that many older adults have been fully vaccinated. Warmer weather has also made it easier for people to gather outdoors, where the risk of transmission of the virus is significantly lower than it is indoors.
Officials are hoping that having the vaccines available to younger kids before the start of next school year could help make the transition back into the classroom much easier in the fall.