Biden said he's making these statements after talking to scientists, adding that "sometime maybe in the beginning of the school year, at the end of August, beginning of September, October, they'll get a final approval."
When the COVID-19 vaccinations were rolled out, they were given in batches; first to the elderly, and then to people with co-morbidities. Eventually, everyone over the age of 18 was eligible to get the shot. Soon enough, the government announced that children over the age of 12 could also get the jab, given how crucial it is to vaccinate everyone in the exhausting fight against the virus. Now, President Joe Biden is optimistic that children below 12 years will also be able to get their vaccination shots soon.
Biden made the statement during a town hall in Cincinnati on July 21, that was hosted by CNN, reports Guardian. "Soon, I believe," Biden said when he was asked about the vaccinations for kids below 12.
Biden says he believes kids under 12 will be able to get COVID-19 vaccines 'soon,' but it's up to scientists https://t.co/yujUf0T7AX— KMOV (@KMOV) July 22, 2021
"Soon, in the sense that I do not tell any scientists what they should do. I do not interfere. So, they are doing the examinations now, the testing now, and making the decision now," he said, adding that scientists will make a decision "when they are ready" and have "done all the science that needs to be done" to determine the appropriate vaccination for different age groups.
Biden also indicated that he expects the COVID-19 vaccines to get full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration "quickly." Currently, they are approved under emergency use authorization.
According to USA Today, Biden said he's making these statements after talking to scientists. "My expectation talking to the group of scientists we put together, over 20 of them, plus others in the field, is that sometime maybe in the beginning of the school year, at the end of August, beginning of September, October, they'll get a final approval," he said. But, he added, the ultimate decision lay with officials at the FDA and CDC.
Parents hoping to get their young children vaccinated against COVID-19 may be able to breathe a sigh of relief soon. The FDA announced that approval for vaccines in children under 12 could come in early to midwinter. https://t.co/ShXuPXXsBx— NECN (@NECN) July 18, 2021
Just a day before the town hall, Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is "very likely" that data about COVID-19 vaccines in children under 12 may be available around early winter.
"Very likely when you do the age de-escalation study -- so we've gone from 12 to nine, nine to six, six to two and then six months to two years -- likely by late fall, early winter, we'll have enough data," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a Senate hearing. "But that doesn't mean that then it's all of a sudden going to be allowed to happen. That will be a regulatory decision that the FDA will have to make," he said.
Meanwhile, Biden also said the CDC will likely issue guidance saying "everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing a mask in school."
As of now, none of the three vaccines—Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson—in the US is available to children under the age of 12. However, with several schools opening up for the fall semester, the three companies are conducting clinical trials so they can evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in children under 12. Once that is determined, data for children ages 5 to 11 could come sometime in September, following which data will arrive for 2-5-year-olds.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos By (L) Drew Angerer (R) Mario Tama