The Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 has got FDA approval to use its COVID-19 vaccine on kids that are 12 to 15-year old, the Food and Drug Administration announced today. Previously, the shot was authorized for people 16 years of age and older.
The companies asked the FDA to expand the authorization to include the new ages in early April, just after they released data showing that their vaccine was highly effective for that group. All of the 12 to 15 year olds given the two dose vaccine in a small study generated strong antibody response with no serious side effects, and none developed COVID-19.
In a statement, Peter Marks Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said: “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.”
Although kids are less likely to get seriously sick from COVID-19 than adults, they can still catch the virus and suffer long-term symptoms. If they’re infected with the virus, they can also pass it along to others, so vaccinating kids is a way to stop them from getting family members or others sick
Currently 152,819,904 people in the US have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.