Students in Saundra Murphys’ third grade class participate in a silent reading at the start of class on the first day of instruction at Weaverville Elementary School on Monday August 17, 2020 in Weaverville, California.
Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Weather | Getty Images
School-aged children will likely be able to get the Covid-19 vaccine early next year, Dr Anthony Fauci predicted on NBC’s “Meet the Press” show on Sunday.
Fauci, the government’s senior epidemiologist, said studies were already underway to investigate the safety of vaccines for young children.
“If you project realistically, when we can get enough data to be able to say that elementary school children will be able to get vaccinated, I think it would be, at the earliest, the end of the year, and most likely the first. quarter of 2022, ”Fauci said.
Federal regulators have approved three Covid-19 vaccines to help fight the pandemic. Two vaccines, those manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, are approved for adults 18 years of age and older.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be given to people 16 years of age and older, although at present, eligibility for young people is strictly limited to those who meet certain criteria, such as an underlying medical condition.
Immunizing children could help states and communities to safely open schools and resume face-to-face teaching. Fewer children than adults have fallen ill with Covid-19, but they can still contract the virus, become seriously ill and pass it on to others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fauci said high school students could likely receive vaccines around the start of the school year in the fall.
“I’m not sure it’s exactly the first day the school opens, but close enough to it,” he said.
To date, more than 72 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to CDC data. About one in five adults has received at least one dose and about one in ten adults have received two.
Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine was approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday and is expected to speed up the campaign to immunize every American. The federal government aims to distribute four million doses next week.
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