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A health care worker testing a child for coronavirus in Austin, Texas, in August 2021. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some parents around the U.S. are on the hunt for COVID-19 vaccine trials instead of waiting for FDA approval to get their young children inoculated, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: As kids return for in-person schooling before those under 12 became eligible for shots, it's created anxiety for parents who worry about the small — but very real — possibility that their kid could become severely ill, experience long-term consequences from or die from COVID.

What they're saying: "This is probably the most dangerous time in the pandemic for children," Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told Axios.

  • The Delta variant is highly transmissible and individuals are letting their guard down.
  • "We're at a very high level of infection overall and the larger proportion of the susceptible population now is children," Wen said.

Driving the news: Kids made up more than a quarter (26.9%) of new weekly COVID-19 cases nationwide, according to the latest data available from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Some parents are pushing their pediatricians to OK off-label adult shots for their kids, and demand driven by parental concern has made slots in children's vaccine trials scarce, per NYT.

Between the lines: The FDA said on Friday that it is "working around the clock" to support the process of making the coronavirus vaccine available for children under the age of 12.

Go deeper: Coronavirus cases up among children after start of school year

Go deeper

Updated 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world — Fauci: Vaccine could be available for children 5–11 in "weeks" — Biden to get booster shot on camera.
  2. Health: Care for kidney disease plummeted in the pandemic — Manufacturers warn rapid test shortages are coming — Study: Pandemic cut U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years.
  3. Politics: Brazil's health minister tests positive during UN summit in N.Y. — Massachusetts State Police union sues over governor's vaccine mandate — Biden to push vaccine-sharing at UN, but boosters at home.
  4. Education: Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban — D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option — More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
12 hours ago - Health

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Photo: James D. Morgan via Getty Images

United Airlines said Wednesday that over 97% of its U.S.-based employees are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a company memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: United announced in August that it would require its 67,000 U.S.-based employees to get vaccinated by Sept. 27 or face termination. It's one of several airlines that set vaccine requirements even before President Biden issued his own vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 workers.