By: Jovillene Datu
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is looking to make progress in any way possible, for a safer environment around the world. As schools opened up in August and September, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. spiked it’s highest since the start of 2021, however the majority of schools continued in person learning leading to many citizens questioning how this will be handled.
In late September, Pfizer BioNTech submitted information to the FDA in an attempt to clear the vaccine for use in children ages 5 to 11. The FDA responded, stating that they will have to run a trial that includes over 2,000 children before they can grant full use of the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA plans to meet later this month to make a decision. If they go ahead and approve it, it is safe to predict that the vaccine will be rolled out rather quickly as the federal government has confirmed that they have enough Pfizer vaccines for all 28 to 29 million Americans within the ages 5-11.
Dr. Judith Flores, a pediatrician in New York who has connections to multiple hospitals, stated that she believes the rollout of this round of vaccines will be different compared to other age groups and children will most likely “be vaccinated by their own physicians,” rather than having mass vaccination areas.
As of right now, the Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine that is being considered for this younger age group, however it is a high possibility that the other vaccines will soon become available as well.
Current FDA board member, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, expects COVID-19 to become an “endemic virus,” much like the flu, in which it circulates seasonally around the U.S.