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Pfizer CEO says it is “a question of days, not weeks” before the company and German partner BioNTech submit data to US regulators for federal authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.

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This would be an important step toward introducing vaccinations to young people, especially those with children who are now back in school and the Delta version resulting in a large jump in pediatric infections.

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Pfizer said last week that its vaccine works for that age group and that it is testing a very small dose of the vaccine that is already available for people 12 and older. The company said that after children ages 5 to 11 got their second dose during the trial, they had the same levels of coronavirus-fighting antibodies as teens and young adults getting the regular-strength shots.

related: Moderna will include more children in COVID-19 vaccine study at FDA’s request

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Sunday that if the Food and Drug Administration approves the company’s application, “we will be ready with our manufacturing to make this new formulation of the vaccine available.”

And when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, he told ABC’s “This Week” that within a year, “I think we’ll be able to get back to normal life. I don’t think that means the coming of variants.” Will not continue. And I don’t think that means we should basically be able to live our lives without vaccinations.”

Bourla also said, “We will have vaccines that … will last at least a year” and “the most likely scenario, this is annual revaccination.”

Meanwhile, Moderna said it expects authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine in young children in late 2021 or early 2022.

A recent report reveals One in four coronavirus cases are in children – the highest ratio since the pandemic began, raising more questions about how to keep children safe as the highly contagious delta variant continues to rise.

Children typically represent about 15% of the total cumulative cases since the pandemic began, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report.

The news comes as the delta variant continues to affect many people – mainly non-vaccinated people – including children under the age of 12 who are too young to be vaccinated.

related: Schools with no mask policies have more COVID-19 cases, CDC study shows

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released three studies highlighting the importance of using layered prevention strategies, including universal masking, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in schools.

The study, published in the site’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,” found that School districts without a universal masking policy were more likely to have COVID-19 outbreaks. Nationwide, counties without masking requirements saw the number of pediatric COVID-19 cases rise nearly twice as fast during the same period.

at the end of July, AAP recommends universal masking in schools, even for those who have been vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19.

But it has become a point of division among some school districts.

A Florida judge ruled this month that the state cannot enforce a ban on public schools that mandates the use of masks to protect against the coronavirus, while an appeals court decides whether the ban is ultimately legal. Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper last week lifted an automatic stay on his ruling that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and state education officials through executive order imposed blanket bans and tagged pro-fake local school boards with financial penalties. had exceeded his authority. .

related: Children participating in Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial talk to Granthshala 5 about their experience

A group of parents is suing a southwest Illinois school district over its mask mandate, asking a judge to allow their children to go to school without masks. A lawyer filed the lawsuit on behalf of three parents whose nine children are enrolled in Triad Community Unit School District 2, which imposed a masked mandate after Gov. JB Pritzker issued a coronavirus executive order requiring universal masking in Illinois schools over the summer.

Parents’ lawsuit asks a Madison County judge to approve temporary restraining orders that would allow their children to go to school without masks, at least in the short term.

According to the CDC, people infected with the COVID-19 virus may be asymptomatic but still able to spread the virus to others.

Stephanie Weaver and this story was reported from Los Angeles.