Biden says kids under 12 could be eligible for COVID vaccines in weeks. That's not likely.

President Joe Biden is optimistic that vaccines for children under the age of 12 could be available as early as August.
Biden made the statement during a Cincinnati town hall on Wednesday hosted by CNN. After speaking with scientists, Biden said he wasn't promised a specific date, but he had an expectation.
"My expectation that when we talk to the group of scientists we have put together, about 20 and others in the field, sometime maybe early in the school year, late August, early September, October, I will get final approval," he said.
That is an unlikely schedule. In March, studies began for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for younger children. The results of the studies are expected in the fall, not weeks.
Dr. Alejandra Gurtman, vice president of the Vaccine Clinical Research and Development at Pfizer, said an emergency approval for ages 5-11 is planned for September or October during a presentation at a symposium at the Johns Hopkins-University of Washington 30. June. She said the 2- to 5-year-old group would follow soon after.
Children under the age of 12 are still not eligible to receive the vaccine in the US, and Biden said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will likely recommend that children who are not vaccinated should wear masks at school.
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"It's getting a bit tight on, well, are mom or dad being honest that Johnny was vaccinated or not? That'll raise questions," Biden said. "It's a matter of community responsibility."
On July 9, the CDC recommended that fully vaccinated children should not wear masks in school.
"Students benefit from face-to-face learning, and a safe return to face-to-face lessons in the fall of 2021 is a priority," a CDC press release said.
On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics disagreed and recommended that all children age 2 and older wear a mask, regardless of their vaccinations.
In the United States, coronavirus cases have almost tripled in the past two weeks. The delta variant of the virus, scientists say, is more contagious. A variant of lambda was recently identified in a hospital near Houston, but health experts said it doesn't seem as contagious.
"I know there's a lot of interest in Lambda, but I think people really need to focus on Delta," said Dr. S. Wesley Long, Houston Methodist medical director for diagnostic biology. "Most importantly, our best defense against all of these variants, regardless of the variant, is vaccination."
According to our world data, 49.3% of Americans are fully vaccinated. During the town hall, Biden urged people to get the vaccine.
"We have a pandemic for those who didn't get the vaccination - it's that simple," said Biden.
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Featuring: Ryan Miller
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID Vaccine For Children Coming In Weeks, Says Biden. Pfizer says fall.

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