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COVID-19 vaccine may be authorized for kids 5-11 by Halloween, experts say

CINCINNATI, Ohio (CNN) - Week after week, more children are getting COVID-19. But leading health experts say there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.

"We're seeing infections throughout every age group," Dr. James Versalovic, Texas Children's Hospital pathologist-in-chief said. "Infants and very young children, school-aged children, and unvaccinated teenagers."

Medical experts say early diagnosis is crucial - Better yet, prevention.

"Use masking and other measures to keep our children safe and reassure parents that help is on the way," Versalovic

Help in the form of a vaccine.

Former FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb is on Pfizer's board and Dr. James Versalovic is helping run children's trials.

"You could potentially have a vaccine available to children age 5 to 11 by Halloween," Gottlieb said.

"That is our goal, October," Versalovic said. "We are doing everything we can now to move these trials ahead, and they're moving ahead well."

In the meantime, the FDA has made it clear parents need to wait on the formal authorization saying "children are not small adults" and "the vaccine doses that are currently being studied in younger children are not necessarily the same vaccine doses" that have been approved for other age groups.

Right now, the FDA says clinical trials are still underway. But once the relevant portion is complete, it will work with the manufacturers to analyze the data.

Then the manufacturer can submit for emergency use authorization.

After that, the FDA will evaluate the benefits and risks.

A process they say could take just a matter of weeks and in the face of delta, every week, every day counts.

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Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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