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US kids aged five to 11 may get vaccine from next month

WASHINGTON: Vaccines for children between the ages of five and 11 will likely be available in the first half of next month, top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said, predicting a timetable that could see many children getting fully vaccinated before the end of the year.

"If all goes well and we get the regulatory approval and the recommendation from the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), it is entirely possible, if not very likely, that vaccines will be available for children from five to 11 within the first week or two of November," Mr Fauci said in an interview with ABC's This Week programme on TV.

US Food and Drug Administration officials are reviewing the Pfizer-BioNTech application seeking authorisation of its two-dose vaccine for younger children, with its panel of outside advisers scheduled to weigh in today. The FDA typically follows the advice of its panel but is not required to do so.

The Pfizer-BioNTech shot is already available to those of ages 12-17, and the companies are still studying it for children younger than five. - REUTERS

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