Dr. Anthony Fauci Says Kids Could Get COVID Vaccine by September, All Adults by April

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration's chief medical adviser, has said COVID-19 vaccines may be available to all U.S. adults by April, while children could start receiving shots in September.

Fauci, who is also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC News' Today show on Thursday that the vaccine rollout would accelerate "as we get into March and April" and more doses become available.

"If you compare now to what we were doing just literally a month ago, the escalation has really been considerable," Fauci told Today's Savannah Guthrie.

"I'm fairly certain that as we get into and towards the end of April, you will see some of the implementation of what you just showed—namely pharmacies, community vaccine centers, mobile units, really stepping up the pace of vaccination," Fauci said. "Hopefully, as we get into the early spring, we'll have a much greater acceleration of dosage."

According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46.3 million COVID vaccine doses have been administered across the U.S. About 34.7 million people have received one or more doses, while more than 11.1 million people have been fully vaccinated with two doses. Around 68.2 million doses have been delivered across the country.

Fauci added that by April, there would be "open season" on vaccines in the United States, meaning "virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated."

"From then on, it would likely take several more months just logistically to get vaccine into people's arms," he told NBC. "So that hopefully, as we get into the middle and end of the summer, we could have accomplished the goal of what we're talking about—namely, the overwhelming majority of people in this country having gotten vaccinated."

Fauci has also suggested that children may be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by September, when the school year begins, if clinical trials assessing the shots for these age groups are successful.

"We're in the process of starting clinical trials in what we call age de-escalation, where you do a clinical trial with people 16 to 12, then 12 to 9, then 9 to 6," Fauci told ProPublica in an interview.

President Biden's chief medical adviser said the vaccines could be authorized for children as young as first graders by autumn.

The two vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use in the United States so far—made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna—are only recommended for people aged over 16 and 18 respectively, according to the CDC.

Pfizer expects data from a study assessing its vaccine in 12-15 year-olds in the "early part of 2021," the company said in a statement.

Moderna said it hoped to have data from a trial involving 12-18 year olds by the middle of the year.

Newsweek, in partnership with NewsGuard, is dedicated to providing accurate and verifiable vaccine and health information. With NewsGuard's HealthGuard browser extension, users can verify if a website is a trustworthy source of health information. Visit the Newsweek VaxFacts website to learn more and to download the HealthGuard browser extension.

Anthony Fauci at National Institutes of Health
Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to U.S. President Joe Biden speak during a visit to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on February 11. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images