Democrat Rep. Clyburn Requests Briefing on How Soon the FDA Can Approve COVID Vaccines for Children Under Five

Democrat House Majority Whip and Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis James Clyburn has requested a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) briefing on how soon they will be able to approve COVID vaccines for children under five-years-old.

Clyburn made the request to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf on Monday, while expressing his concern about reports that Moderna’s vaccine for young children will not be approved by the FDA until the summer.

In his letter, Clyburn complained that waiting that long could delay vaccines for the youngest children “by weeks.”

“The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization and approval of safe and highly effective vaccines for the majority of Americans have been critical to saving millions of lives and allowing the country to safely emerge from the crisis phase of the coronavirus pandemic. However, millions of young children still remain unprotected because no vaccine has yet been authorized for children under five,” Clyburn wrote. “During the surge of the Omicron variant, children younger than five were hospitalized at approximately five times the rate of the previous peak during the height of the Delta variant. I therefore write today to request a staff briefing on the status of coronavirus vaccine candidates for young children.”

In a press release, the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis wrote, “The Select Subcommittee’s briefing request follows recent reports indicating that FDA is considering postponing its decision on whether to authorize Moderna’s vaccine for children under six until early summer, so that it can be evaluated—and potentially authorized—at the same time as Pfizer’s vaccine for children five and younger.  Such a decision could delay the potential authorization and administration of the Moderna vaccine by several weeks.”

“Chairman Clyburn requested that FDA brief Select Subcommittee staff by May 9, 2022, on the status of vaccines for young children, including whether recent reports of a potential delay of FDA’s decision are accurate and the scientific basis or other rationale for any such delay,” the press release continued.

Children are extremely unlikely to have severe symptoms even if they are exposed to COVID-19. It remains unknown what side effects we will see from rushed vaccines.


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