A COVID-19 vaccine for young children could be available by the end of next month

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Your young kids might have a chance to receive the Pfizer vaccine by Halloween. That's what health experts are predicting for five to 11-year-olds. 

There are mixed feelings about kids vaccinations. "It's been such a source of anxiety for our family, sending our kids back to school unvaccinated, so I think it will bring a lot of relief to a lot of parents," said Tempe mom, Kelly Saunders. Other parents are not so sure. "I'm still not for it," said Mesa mom, Capri Dean. "I don't trust it, and I won't give my kids anything I won't give myself."

While the decision of whether or not to vaccinate children is still controversial among parents, a former FDA commissioner and current Pfizer board member said the FDA could authorize the vaccine for young kids by the end of October in a best case scenario.

"Pfizer should have the rest of their data submitted by the end of this month, and typically the FDA will take four to six weeks to review all of the safety data, and then make a determination at that point whether or not to use emergency use authorization," said Valleywise Health Pediatrician Angela Veesenmeyer. "They said because of the spread of the Delta variant, they might try to speed up their review of the safety data, so it might only take three weeks."

Although Dr. Veesenmeyer said COVID rarely sends children to the ICU, she is seeing a slight uptick in hospitalizations. "I think some of it is the Delta variant and the transmissibility," said Veesenmeyer. "I think also because kids are the largest population not vaccinated."

Dr. Veesenmeyer believes in the vaccine and calls it safe. "I have a 9-year-old son, and I plan on getting him vaccinated as soon as it's approved," said Dr. Veesenmeyer.


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