The children are the most vulnerable target for the third wave of the Covid-19 virus, for they are the unvaccinated lot. Countries worldwide are ramping up procedures to begin vaccination for children under the age of 12. Expectedly, it should begin by midwinter as per an official from Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This will be a sigh of relief for many parents.
Vaccine not approved for children
However, as the vaccines have emergency authorization and not full approval, this has caused many parents to worry. If the FDA grants full approval, then that might release that tension.
No vaccines in the USA have received complete approval till now. Also, all the vaccines are eligible for use in 12-year-olds or above.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have been undergoing trials for their applicability to children under twelve in March. Trial results may be out by winter. Furthermore, FDA officials will take some time to re-assess the applications of these drug companies.
FDA is even asking for data on the follow-up period that might extend to six months. Normally, adult trials had data for a two-month-long follow-up period.
Basically, Biologics License Application needs mandatory six-month-long follow-up information.
Moderna and also Pfizer have applied for their full approval in 18-year-olds and above. The official in FDA said approving the full usage was the top priority of the agency.
Pfizer expects to get the data on clinical trials applicable in kids in the age group 5-11 approximately in September, as per its statement given to NBC. However, data on kids in the age group six months to two years won’t be available before October or November.
Moderna and Pfizer try to expedite vaccine trials for kids
Modern is not lagging. One among the chief researchers in Moderna KidCOVE clinical trials with the youngest age limit as six months, DR. Buddy Creech, was assured to develop pediatric data, like Pfizer.
Buddy Creech is also an infectious disease specialist in the pediatric section. Also, he is the director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program at the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre located in Nashville, Tennessee. He was ecstatic while stating that they would have an enormous amount of medical data before late winter.
However, the five-year-old kids and kids younger than them are a bit unlucky. For data on them might take a bit longer. He further added that there is much work to do there.
Vaccinating kids might prevent the third wave
The delta variant might be harmful because it is even more transmissible than the other variants. It also increases the chances of the third wave. Hence, safe and fruitful vaccination for the children will be key to check its spread.
However, one thing needs to be cleared. The mutating virus isn’t particularly harmful to these kids. Rather, due to its higher transmissibility, the unvaccinated section has the most exposure to it.
Dr. Richard Bresser, who was previously the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also a famed pediatrician, warned against the rise of active cases among children in the upcoming wave. Even he predicts more fatalities among them. This is predominantly because they are not vaccinated till now.
Presently, Basser is the President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He looks forward to FDA’s approval for full usage.
He further added that many people’s decision to get vaccinated is depending upon it.
However, many experts cast doubt on this proposition.
Dr. Sean O’Leary, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Infectious Diseases for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that there wasn’t any huge functional difference between full use and emergency use authorization approval.
4 million-plus children were already detected with Covid-19 virus till July. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this amounts to at least 14.5 percent of all the cases. As per CDC’s latest report, approximately 335 children in the age group 17 and below have already died from this virus.
Correction (July 16, 2021, 8;40 E.T.) – Another early version of the present article was wrong in stating the total drugmaker’s list applied to the FDA for full-time use. Not only Pfizer but both Moderna and Pfizer have applied for the same.