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More than 178 million Americans have been fully immune to Covid since the first dose was given in December of last year, but that figure does not include children under 12.

School-aged children between the ages of five and 11 are awaiting approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Moderna and Pfizer injections that have been given to Americans aged 12 and older. Experts say it could be soon.

Dr Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner and author of ‘Uncontrolled Spread: Why Has Covid-19 Crushed Us And How We Can Beat the Next Pandemic’, told CBS ‘Face the Nation on Sunday that it would be a matter of weeks for the children. under the age of 12 to obtain approval.

“[The] The FDA said it would be a matter of weeks, not months, in terms of evaluating this clinical data to determine whether it would approve vaccines for children between the ages of five and 11, ”said Dr. Gottlieb.

“I interpret this to mean maybe four weeks, maybe six weeks. But I think in the best-case scenario, given the timeline they just set, you could potentially have a vaccine for kids between the ages of five and 11 by Halloween. ”

He added that Pfizer would be able to submit its results of clinical trials in children under 12 to the FDA by the end of September, and that they would be filed with the organization “very quickly”.

“If all goes well, the Pfizer data package is in order, and the FDA ultimately makes a positive decision, I have confidence in Pfizer in terms of the data they have collected. But it’s really up to the Food and Drug Administration to make an objective decision, ”said Dr. Gottlieb.

Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser in the United States and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told CNN last month that he was convinced the trials would show as much effectiveness in young people. children than adults.

“I don’t think there is any question of it being effective in children at this younger age. I have no doubt about it,” said Dr Fauci.

Parents were warned by the FDA on Friday not to ask health care providers to vaccinate children before the body’s clearance and full clinical trial results because “children are not little adults.”

“Problems that can be addressed in pediatric vaccine trials may include whether there is a need for different doses or different strength formulations of vaccines already in use for adults,” added the FDA, which was unable to provide authorization date.

Vaccinating children against Covid, which CBS says accounts for about a quarter of all infections in the United States, will improve the vaccination rate in the general population – which currently stands at 53.8%.

The Independent Gt