FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Late summer will be the earliest that children in the United States could receive COVID-19 vaccines, experts say.
Pfizer and Moderna are conducting clinical trials of their vaccines in children 12 and older and hope to have findings by the summer, The New York Times reported. Depending on the results, the companies may then test them in younger children. It typically takes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a few weeks to review data from a clinical trial and approve a vaccine. Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, and AstraZeneca also plan to test their COVID-19 vaccines in children, but are not as far along as the other two companies.
About one-quarter of the U.S. population is younger than 21, but that age group accounts for less than 1 percent of COVID-19 deaths. However, about 2 percent of children with COVID-19 do have to be hospitalized, and at least 227 children in the United States have died of the disease.
"It is a significant disease in children, just not necessarily when you compare it to adults," Kristin Oliver, M.D., a pediatrician and vaccine expert at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told The Times.