Just a day after the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for those 16 years and older, the surgeon general on Tuesday gave an estimate for when a COVID shot will be authorized for children under the age of 12.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CNN that the wait for a COVID vaccine for younger Americans may be completed by the end of 2021.

COVID vaccines are authorized for use in children 12 and older, but those who are younger still do not have access to the shot despite test trials underway by drug manufacturers.

Murthy said that the FDA will work “incredibly hard” to review the data on young children as soon as it is received from the vaccine makers.

“I think it’s possible that we might see that process complete by the end of the calendar year, which would be wonderful for kids like mine and many kids out there who can’t get vaccinated," Murthy said.

“Until then there is something really important we can do to protect our children. And that’s to make sure that the people around them are vaccinated.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 51.5% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, seemed to echo Murthy’s forecast on the timeline for young children to get the vaccine. When asked about the year-end date on NBC's "Today," Fauci said “there’s a reasonable chance that that will be the case."

The news of a possible child vaccine comes amid a rash of school closings as kids head back to school. Numerous cases of the virus broke out among students and teachers as classes started for the fall semester, causing thousands to quarantine across the country.

Fauci said on“Today” that both Pfizer and Moderna are working in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health clinical trials group to develop safety data to pass to the FDA for review. Fauci said he hoped it would “take place expeditiously.”

The United States began inoculating teens -- like 13-year-old Charles Muro in Connecticut -- with Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine in May 2021, and Moderna is now the second firm to seek a US green light to administer its shot to adolescents
The U.S. began inoculating teens -- like 13-year-old Charles Muro in Connecticut -- with Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine in May 2021, and Moderna is now the second firm to seek a U.S. green light to administer its shot to adolescents. AFP / Joseph Prezioso
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