While vaccinations for adults are underway in the United States, clinical trials for the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized COVID-19 vaccines haven’t yet been completed for children and teens younger than 16.
Before that age group can receive a vaccine, the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must accept clinical trial results showing the vaccines are safe and effective in youngsters.
At this time, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has FDA approval for use in people 16 and older, while children aged 12 to 15 have been enrolled in clinical trials of the vaccine. The Moderna vaccine has FDA approval for use in people 18 and older, while children aged 12 to 17 are being enrolled in trials of the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines for children older than 12 years may be authorized by late spring or early summer, but it may be late 2021 or 2022 before vaccines are authorized for those younger than 12, the doctors said. When children can actually get vaccinated will depend on the vaccine supply, the experts noted in a Hopkins news release. Currently, vaccines are being distributed to groups of people based on priority.
Until youngsters can get vaccinated, parents should protect their children from COVID-19 by continuing to practice prevention measures, such as wearing face masks, maintaining safe physical distance from others and by practicing appropriate hand hygiene.