When Can We Expect COVID-19 Vaccines For Kids Below 12?

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While more and more cases of COVID-19 in children are being reported recently, the FDA is in the final process of authorizing the administration of the biological preparation in the younger population, with experts saying the federal agency could release its verdict in the coming weeks. 

Spike In Cases Among Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association recently reported that based on the data they have collected, nearly 226,000 children were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the previous week. It was the second highest total of new cases among children documented over the course of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The 225,978 child cases reported from Sept. 9 to 16 showed a slight decline from the total reported cases in the week prior (243,373). The latest figures brought the total child COVID-19 cases to 5.5 million and the cumulative percentage to 15.7% when all age groups are considered. The overall reported rate is now 7,332 cases per 100,000 children in the population. 

The rise in young cases was actually expected by medical professional as many students have begun returning to classrooms for in-person classes amid the global health crisis and despite the fact that younger children are still not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines. 

COVID-19 In Children

Even though there has been an exponential increase in transmissions among children, experts are confident that there is no cause for concern since young kids are unlikely to suffer the serious manifestation of the disease. Official numbers showed that children only make up between 1.6% and 4.2% of hospitalized cases, according to CNN Health

Children below 12 are also unlikely to die of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week that only 516 deaths in the country were recorded among kids 18 and below since the start of the pandemic last year. The figure is very minute compared to the estimated total of more than 676,000 overall deaths. 

COVID-19 Vaccines For Children

Despite the very minimal fatalities involving kids, health experts and officials are still keen on keeping young students safe from the virus by providing them with their own vaccine shots. The Food and Drug Administration is now expected to authorize vaccines for children in the coming weeks. 

“It is conceivable that by Halloween, we could see shots going into arms, but it’s going to take a number of weeks for that process to work its way through,” FDA advisory panel member Dr. James Hildreth told CNN this week. 

The first candidate is Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is already in the second phase of its three-phase trial. The pharmaceutical company said in a new press release that its two-dose preparation showed a “favorable safety profile and robust neutralizing antibody responses in children 5 to 11 years of age.”

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