Story at a glance

  • “The notion that we are not going to have to vaccinate children going forward I think is wrong,” Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and advisor to the agency, said.
  • The health expert noted that the U.S. vaccinates children for polio even though there hasn’t been a case in more than four decades.
  • Both Pfizer and Moderna are working to test their vaccines in groups of children as young as 6 months.

A top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisor says kids need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the low probability they will experience severe cases, according to CNBC.

An advisory committee for the FDA convened for a meeting Thursday to discuss what data would be needed to consider the use of COVID-19 vaccines on children younger than 12. 


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“It just seems silly to think that we’re not going to have to include children as part of that,” Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and advisor to the agency, reportedly said during the meeting. 

“They can suffer and be hospitalized and occasionally die,” he said. 

“The notion that we are not going to have to vaccinate children going forward I think is wrong,” he said. 

Offit, who is a voting member of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said that 300 children have died from COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic. About 4 million children have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The health expert noted that the U.S. vaccinates children for polio even though there hasn’t been a case in more than four decades. 

“We have variants that are becoming more contagious, which means you need a higher level of population immunity...for years if not decades,” he said, according to CNBC.

The FDA has expanded the emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to Americans 12 and older, and Moderna on Thursday asked for approval for those ages 12 to 17. 

Both Pfizer and Moderna are working to test their vaccines in groups of children as young as 6 months. 

Pfizer said last month it could ask the FDA for emergency use authorization of its vaccine for some kids under 12 by September. 

While children are less likely to have severe cases of COVID-19, vaccinating kids is a critical part of curbing the virus as they can still get infected and spread it to others. 


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Published on Jun 10, 2021