DR Anthony Fauci on Sunday forecasted that it will be “months” before children can get the coronavirus vaccine because it must first be tested for safety and effectiveness among adults.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert shared his assessment in a more than 15-minute-long interview with NBC anchor Chuck Todd on Meet the Press.
Dr Anthony Fauci spoke about vaccination timelines on NBC News’ Meet the PressCredit: NBC
Dr Anthony Fauci said children cannot be vaccinated until ‘months’ after adultsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Todd pointed out that the biotech company Moderna did not do clinical trials on people under age 18, while another vaccine maker, Pfizer, went down to age 12 but no younger in its trials.
The anchor asked Fauci when Americans could expect to have children vaccinated, and if he believed it could happen by summer.
“It’s going to be months,” Fauci replied.
“And the reason is, traditionally when you have a situation like a new vaccine, you want to make sure, because children as well as pregnant women, are vulnerable.”
Dr Anthony Fauci said a bridging study will be done before children get a coronavirus vaccine Credit: Reuters
Dr Anthony Fauci said people who have recovered from Covid-19 should also get vaccinated Credit: NBC
Fauci continue that “before you put it into the children, you’re going to want to make sure you have a degree of efficacy and safety that is established in an adult population, particularly an adult, normal population.”
After that, a vaccine would have to go through trial phases with kids and a bridging study would be conducted to compare their immune system response to that of adults.
“You can say, OK, now we have safety in the children. We have comparable immunogenicity, namely the same type of immune response,” Fauci explained.
Fauci added that that such a process could get a vaccine “expeditiously approved” for children and that it could be a much shorter time frame than going through a 30,000-person trial.
Healthcare workers will get Covid-19 vaccines first, Dr Anthony Fauci affirmedCredit: Reuters
Dr Anthony Fauci said children and pregnant women are more vulnerable than adultsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
He concluded that he would like to get a vaccine to children “sooner rather than later.”
Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that healthcare workers will be the first to get the vaccine and that it could be distributed in December.
Another high-propriety group that Fauci said could get protected “reasonably soon” is people in nursing homes, numbering about 3million, followed by the elderly.
Fauci said that even people who have been infected with the virus and overcome it should get vaccinated because it is not known how long the antibodies protection lasts.
“It would not be surprising that we would be vaccinating people who have already recovered from Covid-19,” he said.
Fauci said that a clearer picture on vaccination timelines will emerge after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices holds its meeting on Tuesday.