Children of all ages, including infants, could be authorized to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of year or early 2022, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.
“They are starting between 12 and 9, 9 to 6, 6 to 2, and 6 months to 2 years,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said of ongoing studies in children of various ages. “It is likely and almost certain, by the time we get to the end of this calendar year and the first quarter of 2022, that we will have enough information regarding safety to vaccinate children of any age.”
That was just one of the headlines that came out of the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing Tuesday morning.
The nation’s top doctors said they are “cautiously optimistic” about the latest data showing considerable progress in the fight against COVID-19.
Calling it a landmark day in the fight against the coronavirus, White House officials said new data reveals America is making significant progress. The lowest number of daily cases since June 2020 was reported Monday (17,724 cases). Hospitalizations are down 18% over a seven-day average. COVID-19 deaths also reached a new low of 546 per day -- the last time this happened was in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.
While the White House COVID-19 Response Team said the vaccination focus now is shifting to adolescents and teenagers, health officials are also targeting 60 million people living in rural communities who are lagging behind when compared to vaccination rates in bigger cities.
“We are definitely meeting people where they are, sending vaccine doses directly to communities that have been the hardest hit, including sending a greater number of vaccines to rural health clinics,” said Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, senior advisor to the COVID-19 Response Team. “And FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is shifting their focus to smaller community-based sites and pop-up clinics.”
Members of the COVID-19 Response Team also made a plea to high school students, graduating seniors and college students: Make getting the vaccine one of their major priorities.