Story at a glance
- Children in the U.S. could begin to receive vaccinations by late 2021 into 2022.
- Researchers cite the need for more safety and efficacy data.
A rough timeline as to when children and younger patients can receive COVID-19 vaccines has been established, with White House Chief Medical Officer Anthony Fauci confirming on Wednesday that fall 2021 could be the earliest start time.
Older kids will be eligible for the vaccine by this fall, Fauci says. Elementary school-aged children will likely see shots closer to early 2022.
“For high school students, it looks like they will be available to get vaccinated in the beginning of the fall, very likely for the fall term,” Fauci said before Congress during a hearing with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Currently, researchers don’t have as much data regarding vaccine efficacy on children as they do adults. COVID-19 has proven to affect adult patients more severely than infected children, on average.
“There are currently insufficient data to make conclusions about the safety of the vaccine in subpopulations such as children less than 18 years of age, pregnant and lactating individuals and their infants, and immunocompromised individuals,” one document from the U.S. Food and Drug Agency regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines have been approved for patients 18 years and older, while the Pfizer vaccine is approved for patients 16 years and older.
Across the U.S., vulnerable groups, including elderly people and nursing home residents, as well as first responders and front line workers, have largely been cleared for vaccination.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 113,000,000 total vaccine doses have been administered.