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When Will New COVID-19 Vaccines Be Approved for Kids?

So far, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is the only one that has been approved for kids, but only those who are aged 16 years and older.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine has already been approved in Canada and the UK.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has already been approved in Canada and the UK.

So does that mean you can expect your older teens to be able to get a vaccine soon?

When Will New COVID-19 Vaccines Be Approved for Kids?

As you might expect, it almost certainly doesn’t…

An advisory committee to the FDA has voted to recommend that the FDA grant Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine EUA.
An advisory committee to the FDA has voted to recommend that the FDA grant Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine EUA.

What if the FDA approves a COVID-19 vaccine “for use in individuals 16 years of age and older?”

Even then, it’s important to understand that what will really matter is how the Advisory Committee On Immunization Practices (ACIP) votes for the vaccine to be used.

And just as important, whether or not kids are included in any of the initial allocation plans.

So even if the first COVID-19 vaccines are approved for older teens who are at least 16 years old, it is very unlikely that many of them will be able to get vaccinated and protected for some time.

“Phase 1c – Persons aged 16-64 years† with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19§”

Evidence Table for COVID-19 Vaccines Allocation in Phases 1b and 1c of the Vaccination Program

So far, older teens are grouped with adults with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19, including cancer, chronic kidney disease, Down syndrome, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, and type 2 diabetes, etc.

When can we expect more kids to be able to get vaccinated and protected against COVID-19?

It likely won’t be until more clinical trials are done that include kids.

Fortunately, some of these trials have already started.

There is also the issue of vaccine availability. Even after these vaccines get approved for kids, it is going to take time to make enough doses to vaccinate and protect all of the highest risk people first. At some point though, vaccine plans will include kids with high risk conditions and then all of our kids.

Don’t expect that to happen in the next few months though.

More on COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids

3 thoughts on “When Will New COVID-19 Vaccines Be Approved for Kids?”

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