NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Around 18 million children under the age of five who are still waiting to get a COVID-19 vaccine may have the option available before the next school year.
Pfizer is expected to present its findings to the FDA this week for emergency use authorization for children between six months and five years old.
A committee within the FDA is scheduled to meet on June 15 to look at the data, then the CDC will weigh in several days later. They're going to be looking at both Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccine data for the age group.
Health experts said Pfizer's vaccine aims to give kids an extra low dose over three separate shots. The initial two would be given three weeks apart with the third shot given two months later.
Data shows it's 80% effective against symptomatic COVID, but that is based on a small number of cases. Pfizer is expected to provide more data once available.
Doctors say having this option available could make a big impact, specifically on how the virus spreads within a community.
“Those kids have tons of contact with other individuals. So if they’re transmitting COVID to their caregivers, to their teachers, to their friends, to whoever they’re really in contact with, that’s maintaining spread throughout the community," said Dr. Jill Roberts with USF College of Public Health.
When the shot becomes available, the question is then: will parents jump on the opportunity? So far in Tennessee, a little under 3% of children 5-11 have gotten their COVID vaccine, which has been available since November.