Many parents hoping for COVID-19 vaccines for their children younger than 12 may get their wish this fall, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The vaccines could be authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this fall for children ages 5 to 11, Fauci told CNN on Tuesday.
"If you look at the studies that we at the (National Institutes of Health) are doing in collaboration with the pharmaceutical companies, there will be enough data to apply for an emergency use authorization both by Pfizer, a little bit later by Moderna," said Fauci, who directs the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"I believe both of them — with Pfizer first — will very likely be able to have a situation where we'll be able to vaccinate children. If the FDA judges the data sufficient enough, we could do it by the fall," Fauci added.
In a statement released Friday, the FDA said the agency will carefully review the data on vaccines in younger children once it's available. The agency is "prepared to complete its review as quickly as possible, likely in a matter of weeks rather than months," said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock and Dr. Peter Marks, who leads the vaccine division.
"The agency's ability to review these submissions rapidly will depend in part on the quality and timeliness of the submissions by manufacturers," the FDA said.
Pfizer may submit its data to the FDA by the end of September or the first week in October, company CEO Albert Bourla said on Tuesday.
Parents of even younger children may not have to wait much longer.
"We are working also on younger kids actually all the way down to 6 months old, between 6 months all the way to 5 years old," CNN reported Bourla saying at an event hosted by the ResearchAmerica Alliance. "Those data will be available a month, month and a half later. So it will be end of October, beginning of November."