News and HeadlinesIndiana Coronavirus News


COVID-19 vaccine and kids: What's the timeline?

Inflammatory syndrome likely linked to coronavirus being seen in more kids
Posted at 10:58 PM, Aug 11, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — More than five percent of COVID-19 cases in Indiana right now are in Hoosiers ages zero to 11-years-old, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Pfizer remains the only vaccine approved through emergency use authorization for children ages 12 and up. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are approved for ages 18 and older. Two of the three vaccines are in the midst of clinic trials for children under 12.

On Wednesday, WRTV asked Indianapolis-based public health expert Thomas Duszynski, the big question many parents have - What is the timeline for kids under 12 to become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine?

“The important thing to know, though, is that both Pfizer [and] Moderna have been requested by the FDA to provide four to six months of data on the safety and the efficacy of these vaccines. As opposed to in adult vaccines, they need at least two months of data of safety and efficacy,” Duszynski said. “The FDA has been very cautious about this. They want to get it right, they have to get it right and they will. That data is really important and we can't move forward without that, so the timeline right now -- they're expecting maybe approval in late September, October, but that can change depending on how long it takes to collect the data.”

ABC Newsreports:
"Pfizer has said it will submit vaccine safety data on 5- to 11-year-olds by the end of September. Moderna has said it will do so in the middle of the fall. It will then be up to the FDA on how quickly it grants the authorization.

In general, federal and industry officials said they expect the first vaccine shots for children ages 5-11 could happen by the end of this year or early 2022. Timing on a vaccine for children younger than 5 is less certain, but officials have said they hope a greenlight for toddlers and infants will follow soon after."

As parents continue to wait until the fall and school is back in session, the Director of Epidemiology Education at IUPUI’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health said much of the same good health practices from the last year-and-a-half is important to continue. That means mask wearing, social distancing and complying with contact tracing.

“The best advice again, is wear a mask, stay physically distant. The other thing I think is going to be really important, especially with school starting, is to participate in [the] contact tracing that we haven't stopped doing,” Duszynski said. “When a case emerges, like in a school, or in some other venue, public health investigators will reach out to the contacts of that individual to ask about their exposure and to recommend quarantine until we get through that incubation period. So, mask up, participate in contact tracing until a vaccine becomes available and then vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate.”