READING, Pa. — As students across Berks County return to in-person learning for the fall, a COVID-19 vaccine could be on the horizon.

"I saw that Scott Gottlieb, who is the FDA former director, was saying that on 'Face The Nation' yesterday that we should have data for children submitted by the end of September and maybe approval by late October," said Dr. Debra Powell, Reading Hospital's chief of infectious diseases.

A lot is taking place from the pharmaceutical perspective to make sure it is the best, safest vaccine available.

"Make sure you have the right dose, make sure you don't have any side effects in children," Powell said, "so it's important for us to study in the right population."

Many parents are anxious to give their kids another line of protection against the coronavirus as the school year continues and colder weather is on the way.

"I know that they are eager to get their children vaccinated but not to jump the gun and to wait until the appropriate time to do that vaccination," Powell said of parents.

Once a vaccine is approved, the next question will be what the distribution process will look like, with many previous vaccination clinics for adults already taking place at schools.

"They can go to their PCP offices. They'll be some of them able to do the vaccinations," Powell said. "Or clinics, whether it be county-based clinics or school-based clinics, I think there will be ways to get the vaccines into the children once it's approved."

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