Former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Scott Gottlieb said in a recent interview that the Pfizer-BioTech coronavirus vaccine could be formally approved for use in children by early winter of this year, as reported by The Hill.
Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Gottlieb, who currently serves on Pfizer’s board of directors, said that “this fall, Pfizer is going to be in a position…to file data with the FDA at some point in September, and then file the application potentially as early as October.”
“That’ll put us on a time frame where the vaccine could be available at some point late fall, more likely early winter, depending on how long FDA takes to review the application,” Gottlieb continued. Although he noted that the agency normally takes four to six weeks to review such authorizations, the process could take longer.
The Pfizer vaccine is one of only three vaccines that are currently approved in the United States as experimental vaccines against the coronavirus, with the others being Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Like Moderna, the Pfizer vaccine requires two separate shots in order to fully vaccinate someone. However, only Pfizer is currently approved for minors from the ages of 12 to 17, whereas the other two are only approved for adults aged 18 and older. Earlier this month, the Pfizer vaccine became the first of the three vaccines to be granted full approval beyond the experimental stage by the FDA.
However, the suggestion of mandating vaccines for children has been highly controversial, with many pointing out that the science has proven that children are the least likely to catch the coronavirus, and those who do are most likely to be immune and display no symptoms. Nevertheless, the forced closure of schools has remained one of the most impactful of the lockdown restrictions since the pandemic first began.
In addition to possible vaccines, Gottlieb suggested several other outlandish ideas for safety measures in schools, including testing all students twice a week and keeping students isolated in “geographic pods” and “social pods,” so that they do not “intermingle with the entire student body.” He further suggested “using masks and improving ventilation,” before demanding that all students get vaccinated, pointing out that “about 50 percent of kids who are eligible to be vaccinated have been vaccinated, so there’s still a lot of work we can do there, getting parents more information, trying to encourage parents to vaccinate their children.”