The former head of the FDA said Sunday that it is “certainly reasonable” to expect to start seeing children ages 5 to 11 fully vaccinated around Thanksgiving.
In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb — who now serves on vaccine-maker Pfizer’s board of directors — was asked whether it is possible that kids in the age group could receive both COVID-19 shots by around the end of the month if the Food and Drug Administration approves the company’s vaccine for them.
“I think that’s certainly reasonable in terms of when this would be available,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb pointed out that the FDA’s advisory committee is meeting Oct. 26 to discuss whether to grant emergency-use authorization to the vaccine for younger children.
“Assuming that they authorize the use of the vaccine, CDC’s Advisory Committee is going to meet on Nov. 2 and 3 and make a final decision about who should be eligible for the vaccine,” Gottlieb said.
“And assuming both of those events go well, and you get a positive recommendation out of both the FDA and CDC, this should be available almost immediately after the CDC makes a final recommendation and be available in pharmacies and perhaps pediatricians’ offices as well,” he continued.
If the kiddie vaccine is approved as soon as Nov. 3, children could immediately receive their first dose — then be eligible for the required second shot 21 days later. Thanksgiving is Nov. 25 this year.
The doses for young kids are a third of the version for older children and adults. Experts say it takes about two weeks after a second dose to gain the full protection offered by the immunizations.
Currently, only people ages 12 and older are able to get vaccinated with Pfizer’s vaccine. Those age 18 years and older are also eligible for Moderna’s two-dose regime or Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot version.
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