CDC director says she hopes that the FDA approves COVID-19 vaccines for children under age 12 by the end of the year

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said she is hoping that COVID-19 vaccines will be available for children under age 12 by the end of the year.

In an appearance on NBC’s TODAY on Monday,  Dr Rochelle Walensky said there isn’t a definitive timeline, but that officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working to approve the shots in younger children.

‘We’re waiting for the companies to submit the data to the FDA, we’re anticipating that will happen in the fall,’ she told host Savannah Guthrie.

‘We will look at that data from the FDA, from the CDC, with the urgency that we all feel for getting our kids vaccinated and we’re hoping by the end of the year.’ 

It comes as Covid cases among children reached a record-high in recent weeks with 20,000 kids being hospitalized as well. 

 However, most pediatric cases are not severe and virus-related fatalities among children are rare with pediatric deaths making up just 0.1 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.

Pfizer and BioNTech have hinted tat they plan to file for emergency use authorization for kids age five to 11 this month.

Moderna is also conducting vaccine trials in young children but has not stated when it plans to file with the FDA.

During her interview, Walensky said she hopes to see high vaccination rates in schools before schools rollback mitigation measures. 

‘I think what we really need to see is very high vaccination rates and ery low rates of disease in the community,’ she said.