GREATER WASHINGTON AREA (WDVM) — According to the New York Times, an FDA official said that emergency authorization for vaccines for children under 12 could come early to midwinter.

Local experts like Marshall Vogt, the Division Epidemiologist and Co-lead of the Vaccine Unit for the Virginia Department of Health, think this timeline is realistic.

“I think that is very possible,” said Vogt. “We know that right now they’re doing a lot of clinical studies, clinical trials on the use of the vaccine, and those less than 12 years of age, particularly in the five to 12 age group, but also in the six months to five-year-old age group.”

Pfizer and Moderna started vaccine trials for children ages six months to 11 years old back in March.

This prediction creating a safety net for children going back to school in the fall.

That is another added layer of prevention for COVID-19,” said Vogt. “We know that with masking with hand hygiene with testing. These are all different interventions public health interventions that we can use to prevent the spread or really mitigate the spread of COVID-19, especially in schools.”

On a national scale, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky echoing the call for vaccines heard from local experts.

“I want to reiterate that there is no bad time to get your second shot. Do it for yourself, your family, and for your community,” said Walensky. “And please do it to protect your young children who, right now, can’t get vaccinated themselves.”

In the greater Washington area, Virginia stands at 52.9% of residents fully vaccinated, Maryland at 53.3%, and DC also at 53.3%.

As of Thursday, according to Mayoclinic.org, 48.5% of Americans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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