Dr. Fauci Reveals When Kids Under 5 Might Be Able To Get A COVID-19 Vaccine

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, child COVID-19 cases have continued to exponentially rise in the United States, with the number of child cases being 4 times higher than that of the previous years' winter surge. Between January 11 and January 17, 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that over 900 children were hospitalized with COVID-19 (via Forbes).

With this rise in child cases, coupled with returns to in-person school learning, parents have expressed concerns regarding travel and daycare safety as it pertains to their children. Those who are parents to children under the age of 5, who are not yet authorized for vaccination by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), are particularly worried (via NPR).

With the FDA having approved emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11 in late October 2021 (via the FDA), many are anxiously awaiting to learn when those under the age of 5 will be eligible for the vaccine — particularly in light of the continued spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Children under 5 may have access to the vaccine sooner rather than later

Kathy Roth-Douquet of Blue Star Families, a volunteer organization dedicated to providing support and advocacy for military families, hosted a virtual town hall meeting with Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (via Military Times). In the interview, Dr. Fauci was asked when children under 5 may have access to the vaccine, as well as details regarding the number of doses they may require.

"My hope is that it's going to be within the next month or so and not much later than that, but I can't guarantee that," Dr. Fauci said. While there is no finite timeline set as to when the vaccine will be authorized for those under 5, Pfizer notes that the FDA emergency use authorization process took a little over 3 weeks for children ages 5-11 (via Forbes), a trajectory that would align closely to Dr. Fauci's timeline of a month or so.

Kathy went on to ask Dr. Fauci about what the vaccine doses may look like for children under 5. He responded by saying that it will likely be a 3-dose vaccine for those 24 months of age to 4 years old, stating that 2 doses of the vaccine "did not induce [an immune] response that was felt to be adequate." Dr. Fauci further explained how the FDA data submission process may take longer due to this dosage adjustment in clinical trials.