As the new school year begins, talk of when a COVID vaccine will be approved for children under age 12 is increasing. Now that the Pfizer vaccine has been fully approved for adults, many parents are questioning when our younger school children will be offered the same protection, especially given the threat of the Delta variant.

The vaccine is currently going through clinical trials for kids. As for when we might see a vaccine for children approved, Dr. Anthony Fauci told NBC the authorization for children could come “hopefully by the mid-late fall and early winter.”

According to The Hill, more than 100 House lawmakers wrote to the FDA last week asking for an update on its timeline for vaccines for children, given the current “alarming” situation.

Lee Savio Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, wrote to the FDA requesting that they move “aggressively” to authorize vaccines for children “as soon as possible.”

One concern is the link between vaccines and the potential for rare cases of heart inflammation known as myocarditis. Still, Beers said that while there is “justifiable concern” about this the cases are “extremely rare.”

As the Delta variant causes a surge in new COVID cases, many parents are concerned that this leaves kids vulnerable. And while kids generally do better when it comes to COVID than adults do, they are not immune to contracting it.

The AAP reported that as of August 26, nearly 4.8 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. “About 204,000 cases were added the past week, marking the second week with child cases at the level of the winter surge of 2020-21,” said the AAP. “After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially, with over a five-fold increase the past month, rising from about 38,000 cases the week ending July 22nd to nearly 204,000 the past week.”

If you don’t want to wait for a vaccine to be authorized, one option is to try and enroll your child in a pediatric clinical trial of the vaccine. For details on the trials, go to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) ClinicalTrials.gov.