On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the dual dose Pfizer vaccine in 12 to 15 year olds. The decision is aimed at younger people in the hopes of hastening the country’s return to normalcy and recovery from the pandemic.
The CDC advisory panel will still meet in the coming week to review the approval, and is expected to approve the use in 12 to 15 year old adolescents.
President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Lee Savio Beers said in an interview with US News: “It's essential for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19. According to data compiled by the AAP and Children's Hospital Association, more than 3.8 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States since the start of the pandemic.”
Beers went on to say that while the disease is not usually as fatal in children, thousands have still been hospitalized with the virus. He hopes that the approval of the vaccine in younger adolescents will “prevent so much suffering.”
This decision could also expedite the reopening of schools in the Fall, with a lowered likelihood of transmission in those who have received their full vaccination.
The FDA approval follows a clinical trial of over 2000 participants in this age group, wherein side effects were comparable to those aged 16-25 receiving the vaccine -- though fevers were slightly more common in the younger group.
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