UC Davis doctor says COVID-19 vaccine may be approved for younger children by next school year

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As demand for the COVID-19 vaccine drops, many parents are wondering when their children will be able to get vaccinated.

Doctors believe kids as young as toddlers could become eligible as soon as the next school year.

With both San Francisco and Los Angeles counties moving into the state’s least-restrictive tier, Dr. Dean Blumberg with UC Davis Health said that is a good sign.

“There’s increased risk of transmission where there’s a higher density of people, so having these urban areas go to a lower tier is a really good sign and I think it shows how much progress we’ve really made,” Dr. Blumberg, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist, said.

California appears to be moving further away from the COVID-19 pandemic, in large part thanks to the vaccines.

“As of today, we’ve had over 240 million people vaccinated in the U.S.,” Blumberg told FOX40.

But the many who have not gotten vaccinated are those younger than 16 years old.

“We want to make sure these vaccines are safe and that we’re using the right doses,” Blumberg said. “Remember, children generally weigh less than adults, so sometimes the doses need to be adjusted.”

Blumberg said studies have been in the works for months and most found that the vaccines worked in those younger age groups and that they’re safe.

“The antibody responses, the immune responses looked equivalent or better than to older individuals,” he said.

He believes parents of children as young as 2 years old will not have to wait much longer.

“We would expect those results — if they come back as expected — to get approval maybe for 5-through-11-year-olds, maybe later this summer or early fall. So in time for going to school,” Blumberg said.

This week, Pfizer’s CEO announced they would seek an emergency use authorization for their vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration for those ages 2 through 11 by this September.

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