When will kids under 5 be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Here’s the latest on pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.

By Sarah Jacoby, TODAY.com

Almost exactly a year ago, the first COVID-19 vaccines became available in the U.S. Today, they’re approved or authorized for nearly every age group — except young kids. But clinical trials involving children as young as 6 months are underway now, and some may have results by the end of the year.

Right now, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only one authorized in the U.S. for use in kids under the age of 18. The original emergency use authorization — and, later, full approval — from the Food and Drug Administration covered people ages 16 and up. The FDA then authorized it for 12- to 15-year-olds in May and for 5- to 11-year-olds in early November.

Status of COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5

“We all want our kids to get back to a more normal existence than what they’ve had for the past two years, The best way out of this pandemic is by vaccinating people and our children are included in that. By vaccinating them, you’re protecting them from any of the bad things that can happen from COVID, but you’re also protecting your family and your community.”

– Dr. Bill Hartman, UW Health

The most recent estimates from Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla are that we could have data on the company’s vaccine in children under 5 by the end of the year, NBC News reported. And the vaccine might be available for kids in that age group in early 2022.

Moderna submitted data from clinical trials involving 12- to 17-year-olds, but in November the FDA said it needed more time to review that data. The company also released statements recently saying that its two-dose mRNA vaccine is safe and effective in 6- to 11-year-olds. And Moderna trials involving kids 6 months and up are ongoing.

When it comes to the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the company told TODAY in a statement that it “has initiated its phase 2/3 HORIZON 2 clinical trial in healthy adolescents from 12 to 17 years with the goal of obtaining valuable insights into the safety and immune responses of our vaccine in this critical group.” The company did not share information about trials in younger age groups.

As exciting as all that is, the reality is that many parents of young kids are still anxiously awaiting their turn to get their children vaccinated. Here’s the latest on the status of ongoing pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trials in the U.S. and more on the careful work that goes into developing vaccines for young kids. Read more …