Maryland Gov. Hogan Calls for Expedited Approval of COVID-19 Vaccine in Children Under 12

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called for an expedited approval for the COVID-19 vaccine in children younger than 12 years old on Monday.

In a statement following the approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Hogan wrote, "We want to thank federal officials for authorizing full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, which is something we have been pushing for over the last several weeks. For people who are still hesitant about getting the vaccine, this is an assurance that it has met the most rigorous standards for safety and effectiveness."

"We also continue to call on the federal government the expedite approval so that our 5- to 11-year-olds can begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines," the statement continued. "Getting our children vaccinated is critical to giving parents greater peace of mind, but we are being told approval is still months away."

The statement by Hogan comes shortly after the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received full approval from the FDA. The FDA previously issued an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Following the full approval, acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement that, "The FDA's approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic."

"The public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product," Woodcock added.

While COVID-19 vaccines have not been approved for children under the age of 12 yet, during a recent interview with NPR, Dr. Phil Dormitzer, chief scientific officer for viral vaccines at Pfizer, said that the vaccine maker expects to have trial data for its vaccine in children between the ages of 5 and 11 by the end of September.

"We're hoping to have authorization — depending on both results and, of course, a few decisions — not too long after the school year starts," Dormitzer told NPR.

While Hogan has called for expedited approval of the COVID-19 vaccine in children younger than 12, Maryland has been able to fully vaccinate at least 60 percent of its population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hogan also recently said in a statement that 80 percent of adults in Maryland will have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by Labor Day.

"After vaccinating 70 percent of Maryland adults by Memorial Day—months ahead of the goal set by President Biden—we have achieved another major milestone by vaccinating 80 percent of all adults by Labor Day," Hogan said. "As one of the most vaccinated states, our health metrics are among the lowest in America, and we are much better prepared to withstand the significant summer surge of the Delta variant, which many other states with lower vaccination rates are now experiencing. The vaccines are very safe, they are very effective, they are completely free, and they are widely available nearly everywhere."

Newsweek reached out to Hogan's office for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

COVID-19 Vaccine
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called for expedited approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children younger than 12 on Monday, August 23, 2021. Above, Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine is pictured at Rady Children's Hospital before it's placed back in the refrigerator in San Diego, California on December 15, 2020. Ariana Drehsler/Getty