Coronavirus vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 may be available by the end of next month, but the staggered shot schedule means many of those children won’t be considered fully vaccinated until December, said the director of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Francis Collins said Thursday that Pfizer aims to provide data for its vaccine among that age group to the Food and Drug Administration in the coming days, CNN reported.

“The FDA has announced that they’re going to do 24/7, going through it, and do everything they can to make a decision about approval maybe as soon as Halloween,” Collins said during a Bloomberg Philanthropies-hosted discussion, CNN reported. “Keep in mind, of course, that doesn’t mean those kids go and get a shot and then there’s no risk. You’ve got to go through two shots, three weeks apart, and then [wait] another two weeks after that. So, if you got immunized on Halloween and you’re, you know, 9 years old, it’s still going to be December by the time you have full protection.”

In the meantime, other preventative measures will be needed for students with the school year already underway, including mask-wearing and minimizing exposure to other unvaccinated persons, Collins said.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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