The FDA tentatively scheduled a meeting on Oct. 26 to consider an EUA for Pfizer’s vaccine to be administered to children ages 5 to 11. A ruling is expected by the end of the month, The New York Times reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could recommend the vaccine for that age group in early November, according to The New York Times report.
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Dr. David Wohl, infectious disease specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the highly contagious delta variant has affected children more than earlier strands of the virus.
The week ending Sept. 19 was the third week in a row that those younger than 18 made up a third of all new COVID-19 cases statewide, Dr. Mandy Cohen, DHHS secretary, said at a press conference in September.
Earlier in the pandemic, when cases were peaking over the winter, cases in children made up about 10% from week to week.
“In the earlier part of the pandemic, children were very unlikely to get severely ill but were considered perhaps a source of infection to others,” Wohl said. “More children are now getting severely ill due to the delta variant than they were in previous periods.”
Delta is a mutation of the coronavirus that’s more than twice as contagious as the original strand, according to the CDC.
In week of Sept. 26, those younger than 18 accounted for about a quarter of new cases, DHHS data show.
Pfizer cited similar figures nationwide from late September when it announced its EUA request on Twitter.