(KTTC) -- At this point, the delta variant surge we are seeing is due to the high percentage of unvaccinated people nationwide. Although children younger than 12 cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine, doctors at Mayo Clinic tell us they are expecting that to change in the winter of 2022.
As children and teens prepare to head back to school, most doctors are hoping to see in-person learning, and there are still ways we can protect ineligible kids when it comes to school settings.
"It becomes all the more important that we lean heavily on the other preventative strategies that we do have like masking, physical distancing, hand washing, in order to keep them as safe as possible. And where vaccination provides protection for that age group is when all of the people around them are vaccinated," said Pediatrician Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse.
As for when a vaccine will be available for younger children, it might be awhile. Vaccine trials for children are taking longer..
"The FDA asked manufacturers to report not two months of safety data like they did for adults, not four months like they had initially planned, but six months," said Vaccinologist Dr. Gregory Poland.
This is due to the various side effects and efficacy seen based on age. One thing many parents are worried about when it comes to the vaccine is fertility problems.
"I think we can fairly say that at this point in our data base, there has been no evidence of any issue regarding fertility," stated Dr. Poland.
Both doctors want to remind all families transitioning back to school to make sure all vaccines are up to date.