Dr. Vivek Murthy told Dr. Oz he "can't wait" for a vaccine to be available for his own kids.
While more than 185 million Americans 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, any child younger than that is still waiting for even a first dose as the FDA works to make sure the shot is safe for them. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told Dr. Oz on Tuesday that parents "can be confident" in the vaccine for their kids once that "gold standard" approval comes in from the FDA.
Pfizer recently announced that in the trial of its COVID vaccine in children 5 to 11 years oldchildren 5 to 11 years old, the shot was "safe" and "showed robust neutralizing antibody responses." Murthy told Dr. Oz that the FDA has now started its process in reviewing the data from the trial and, ultimately, approving or not approving the shot for young kids.
Murthy assured parents that if the FDA does approve the shot for children, they can trust the authorization.
"Anything that comes out of the FDA — in terms of a stamp of approval or authorization — that is the gold standard for safety and efficacy," he said.
"Every parent out there can be confident when they see that authorization or approval that this is the right step to take for my child," Murthy added.
Murthy understands this decision parents have to make. He is a dad himself to kids under 12.
"I have a lot of empathy for parents around the country who are in this situation," he said, adding that he "can't wait" for a vaccine to be available for his children.
Though Murthy said he can't estimate an exact date for when the vaccine will be available for kids, he said the FDA is "working day and night" to complete its analysis.
"I'm optimistic that certainly before the end of the calendar year we'll see something," Murthy told Dr. Oz.
Dr. Vivek Murthy spoke to Dr. Oz about the possibility of more students being required to get the COVID-19 shot.