10 million kids could get COVID-19 vaccine by fall, former FDA commissioner predicts

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Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, predicted May 2 that 10 million kids ages 12 to 15 could be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the next school year starts if the FDA approves Pfizer's vaccine in that age group, The Hill reported. 

Dr. Gottlieb, who sits on Pfizer's board of directors, said he believes 5 million kids would immediately be vaccinated after the FDA's approval, and another 5 million to 7 million would be vaccinated gradually, before next fall's school year. There are about 17 million children between the ages of 12 and 15 in the U.S., The Hill reported. 

Health experts told ABC 7 May 3 that the FDA is expected to authorize the vaccine in the 12-to- 15-year age group as early as this week. If authorized, the age group could start getting vaccinated later this month. Pediatricians will likely be key to getting that age group vaccinated, Dr. Gottlieb predicted. 

Pfizer submitted its request for the FDA to grant emergency authorization for the vaccine in the age group April 9. Research released by Pfizer in March showed the vaccine was 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 12 to 15 in a phase 3 clinical trial.

A BioNTech scientist told CNBC April 30 that data on the vaccine's efficiency in ages 5 to 11 years could be available as early as the end of the summer. If FDA-approved, the age group could start receiving vaccines by the end of the year.

 

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