It seems unlikely that children under 12 will get coronavirus vaccines before Christmas. According to NBC News, a Food and Drug Administration official has said that emergency authorization for kids’ vaccines won’t come until midwinter to allow time for trials and follow-up safety checks. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech launched trials of their COVID-19 vaccines for under 12s back in March, but the results of those trials aren’t expected to come in until late fall. Pfizer told NBC News that its data for kids aged 5 to 11 could land in September, adding: “Data for kids 2 and under 5 could arrive soon after that.” The FDA reportedly wants to see between four to six months of safety follow-up data for kids under age 12, compared to two months for adults, so it will take longer for emergency approval.
Separately on Friday, the FDA is expected to decide on full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine no sooner than early next year, with a goal set for January, according to press release from the companies.