House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Monday requested a briefing from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the status of COVID-19 vaccines for young children.
He cited the high hospitalization rates that were seen in children under the age of five during the omicron wave and the large number of children who are still unable to get immunized.
In his letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Clyburn pointed to reports that the agency was considering delaying its decision on authorizing Moderna’s vaccine for young children until the summer.
In March, Moderna announced its intentions of requesting emergency use authorization for its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to children under the age of six. The company said last week that it will submit its request by the end of this month.
Pfizer in February announced it was postponing its application for authorization of its vaccine for children under the age of five, citing data that indicated a strong enough immune response was not being induced.
Chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci recently said the FDA may wait to review Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines at the same time, possibly in June when the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is reportedly scheduled to meet again.
Clyburn wrote this timeline would delay the potential authorization of a shot for younger children by weeks.
Clyburn, chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, requested that these reports be verified and that a “scientific basis and any other rationale” be provided for the FDA’s decision regarding vaccine authorization.