A nurse loads a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Blood Bank of Alaska in Anchorage on March 19, 2021.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
It’s “highly likely” the US Food and Drug Administration will allow Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to be used in children aged 12 to15, according to the acting chairman of an FDA vaccine advisory committee.
“It’s highly likely, if the data submitted support it,” said Dr. Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan. Monto is also serving as acting chairman of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee in their review of Covid-19 vaccines.
“I think it could be done relatively quickly,” he added.
Pfizer applied to the FDA earlier today to expand its emergency use authorization (EUA) or its vaccine to be used in children aged 12 to 15. Currently it is authorized for ages 16 and up.
Monto said the FDA likely won’t ask the committee he chairs to meet to discuss expanding the use of Pfizer’s vaccine down to 12-year-olds.
“They’re not going to have advisories every time they tweak things,” he said.
He couldn’t speculate on how long it would take the FDA to consider Pfizer’s request to amend its EUA.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in people over the age of 18.