(Meredith) - Health experts predict Pfizer may have a vaccine ready for young children by the end of October, under a best-case scenario.
"You could potentially have a vaccine available to children age 5 to 11 by Halloween,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said Sunday.
Would you let your child get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Gottlieb, who serves on Pfizer's board of directors, said on CBS’ "Face the Nation" that the drug company expects to have data on its vaccines in young children before the end of September and may file for FDA approval shortly after.
"If everything goes well, the Pfizer data package is in order, and FDA ultimately makes a positive determination, I have confidence in Pfizer in terms of the data that they've collected," Gottlieb said. "But this is really up to the Food and Drug Administration to make an objective determination."
Dr. James Versalovic, the pediatrician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital, supported Gottlieb’s timeline on "Face the Nation."
"I certainly would agree with Dr. Gottlieb that we are doing all we can to get vaccines to children in the fall," Versalovic said. "In the meantime, use masking and other measures to keep our children safe."
Versalovic said clinical trials at Texas Children’s Hospital are being conducted among children ages 6 months to 11 years old with both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
"We are doing everything we can now to move these trials ahead, and they're moving ahead well," he said. "Children are getting a different dosage, but it's safe and effective.
The FDA has already authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in children ages 12 to 15.
The push to vaccinate children comes as students return to school amid growing concerns over the highly contagious delta variant.
Over 5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children also represented 26.8% of reported weekly COVID-19 cases for the week ending September 2.