Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he hopes to see children ages 5-11 start to get their COVID-19 vaccinations before the end of October, now that the drug maker Pfizer has submitted initial trial data to the Food and Drug Administration for approval.
"The FDA takes very seriously the importance of getting vaccines shown to be safe and effective into the arms of children, in this case in children from age 11 down to 5," Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "The FDA, I would never want to get ahead of their judgment, but I would imagine in the next few weeks, they'll examine that data and hopefully, they'll give the okay so we can start vaccinating children, hopefully before the end of October."
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE submitted the initial trial data for the vaccines for younger people early Tuesday and said they will make a formal request for emergency use authorization in the coming weeks.
According to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics, COVID-19 infections hit their highest point in early September. The vaccine is already authorized in teens aged 12 to 15 and has been fully approved for people ages 16 and older. According to the trials, the vaccine is also shown to induce a strong immune response in younger children as well.
Pfizer is also reporting a study for an oral medication that could help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 after a person has been exposed to the disease.
"It's a direct antiviral agent that blocks the replication components of the virus," said Fauci. "It's not an antibody...it's similar to the things that we developed very successfully over the years for HIV and hepatitis C."
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