Fauci: COVID-19 vaccine could be available for kids by next school year
Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview Thursday that by the start of next school year he believes a COVID-19 vaccine could be available for kids as young as first grade.
To be eligible for the COVID vaccine, you currently need to be older than 16. This could change by September as long as the trials going on now are successful.
In an interview with ProPublica on Thursday, Dr. Fauci said, "I would think by the time we get to school opening, we likely will be able to get people who come into the first grade."
Nanuet Union Free School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kevin McCahill said it would be a wonderful announcement to make.
McCahill says the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone's mental health in the district.
"If vaccines are going to be able to lift some of that fear and mitigate some of that distraction and that anxiety, well then as someone who serves children in schools, I welcome that," he says.
News 12 asked parents on social media if they would get their children vaccinated whenever they are eligible. Many said they would, but a large number said they would not.
There's always a chance that the Department of Health could step in, barring a medical exemption, requiring students to get a vaccine to go to school. It already does for the measles, chicken pox and hepatitis B.
"If it makes schools safer and if the science is behind their decision as it has been in the past, then I would support it," says McCahill.
Some wonder if Fauci's timeline is feasible. A spokeswoman from Rockland County's Pfizer would not say, but Pfizer is testing its vaccine in more than 2,000 12- to 15-year-olds.
The spokesperson did say that Pfizer hopes to have results in the first half of the year, and then test 5- to 11-year-olds. It has not "finalized that protocol."
News 12 reached out to Moderna about any trials it's planning for kids but has not heard back.