It has been expected for some time that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine would receive approval by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in children ages 12 to 15. It happened on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, following a CDC advisory committee voting in favor earlier that day after the move by the Food and Drug Administration on Monday to give emergency use authorization for distribution to children ages 12 to 15.
Pfizer asked for emergency use authorization among children in early April, after finding in its own study that the vaccine was 100% effective among 12- to 15-year-olds. The other vaccine manufacturers are looking for approval as well over the next few weeks pending completion of adolescent vaccine trials.
In a statement on Wednesday, Rochelle Walensky, CDC director said, “CDC now recommends that this vaccine be used among this population, and providers may begin vaccinating them right away.” she went on to say, “Though most children with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, some children can get severely ill and require hospitalization. There have also been rare, tragic cases of children dying from COVID-19 and its effects, including multisystem inflammatory syndrome.”
Most states have waited for the CDC’s go-ahead to start vaccinating the new age group. Now that approval has come, 12- to 15-year-olds across the entire US have already started in many places. Many parents want their children to be able to go back to in-person classes and many children want to go back to school as much as their parents want them there!
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, as of Wednesday, May 12, the US has fully vaccinated more than 117.6 million people, which is approximately 36% of the population. President Biden last week announced a goal of having 70% of adults in the US to have at least their first COVID-19 shot by July 4.