“It’s a question of days, not weeks,” Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Boerla told ABC News on Sunday.
Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are only approved for children 12 and older, raising concerns among health experts as cases rise in children, the school year begins and the more transmissible delta variant spreads.
Granthshala medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Renner said on Sunday that once Pfizer/BioNtech’s data is out, it will have to go through two committees, one for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and one for the CDC. He said that if the figures come in this week, he is likely to join the committee by the end of October.
And they have a lot of data to look at, he said.
“This is a vaccine for children, so getting the dosage right — in terms of efficacy and side effects — is important,” Rainer said.
But even when a vaccine becomes available, getting children vaccinated remains a difficult task. According to a Granthshala analysis of CDC data, less than half of American teens are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
In response, officials need to do a better job educating the public about the importance of vaccinations for the health of their children and their families, Rainer said.
“If you want kids to be in school, the best way to keep them in school is to protect them from getting COVID,” he said.
“We know how to keep them safe,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky told CBS on Sunday. “When we don’t use proper mitigation, they are more likely to cause outbreaks.”
Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he encourages parents to vaccinate their children when they can.
“It’s a dangerous pathogen,” Gottlieb told Granthshala. “I won’t be so careless about this virus, we know this virus has long-term consequences in many people who contract it, including children.”
Current surge likely to die off Thanksgiving, says Gottlieb
Gottlieb predicted on Sunday that the current surge of coronavirus spread is likely to worsen in some parts of the country and then die off Thanksgiving.
“I think you’ll see a wave of infections across the Northeast as kids go back to school, the weather gets colder and people move indoors,” Gottlieb told Granthshala’s Pamela Brown.
The virus will not go away, Gottlieb said, but expects it to reach more manageable levels – which he estimates is around 20,000 cases per day.
According to the CDC, the current seven-day average for new cases in the US is more than 114,000 new cases a day.
Gottlieb said the decline in cases would come from most people acquiring immunity to the virus.
“Some people will get the vaccination; some people will challenge their immunity with no other option than to get the infection,” Gottlieb explained. “People who choose to go without vaccination are going to be more vulnerable to getting infected by this delta wave.”
As the US progresses into flu season, Gottlieb said the demand for tests will increase as people and their doctors try to determine whether their flu-like symptoms are due to COVID-19 or influenza.
“That’s why it’s so important to get diagnostic tests in the hands of consumers and doctors’ offices, things where people can test at home will make the difference in telling between COVID and other respiratory infections, especially the flu. In form,” Gottlieb said.
But even as Thanksgiving brings a drop in Covid-19 cases, health experts are prepared for a tough winter ahead. It’s not yet clear what this year’s flu season has in store, but it could add additional stress to an already strained health care system.
Flu numbers were lower last year, which health experts say could mean the coming season could be worse, as there has been little accumulation of immunity.
“We are ready for flu season at some point,” Gottlieb said on Sunday.
CDC director says booster recommendation for frontline workers a ‘scientific close call’
“And because of that close call, and because of all the evidence we reviewed at the FDA and CDC, I thought it was fair for those people to be eligible for boosters,” Valensky told CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday. Told.
“So who are those people? People who live and work in high-risk settings. This includes people in homeless shelters, people in group homes, people in prisons. But, importantly, there are people who are vulnerable. Working with communities, so do our health care workers, our teachers, our grocery workers, our public transportation workers,” Valensky said.
Although the CDC’s vaccine advisors voted against recommending booster doses for people at high risk of infection because of their work or living conditions, Valensky went with the FDA’s authorization, including those.
The recommendation is not currently intended for the wider population, but adding that third dose has little fear of causing dangerous side effects, Valensky said.
“We have an extraordinary amount of security data,” she said.
Granthshala’s Jacqueline Howard, Maggie Fox and Aya Elamrousi contributed to this report.
Credit : www.cnn.com