Children 12-15 Can Now Receive Pfizer COVID Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it has expanded emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to youths ages 12-15, which will give access to the vaccine to millions more adolescent age people. A previous authorization in December had made it available to those 16 and older.

According to CBS News, an analysis of 1,005 vaccine recipients in the young adolescent age group found that it was 100 percent effective in prevention of coronavirus infection.

“Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic,” said FDA acting commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock in a statement. “Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”

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The vaccine will be administered to the younger group in the same dose and regimen as other age groups, Woodcock said. With the vaccinations of young adolescents, it will likely allow more children to return to school for in-person learning in the fall. 

“Having a vaccine authorized for a younger population is a critical step in continuing to lessen the immense public health burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Pfizer has already requested full approval for its vaccine, meaning it would not need an emergency use authorization for distribution, CBS News reported.

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