US authorizes Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12-15
Washington, May 10 (EFE).- The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted authorization for the emergency use of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15 on Monday.
Previously, regulators had authorized it for those aged 16 years and over. It is still the only one approved for use in 16-to-18-year-olds in the US.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is growing, and today it got a little brighter,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.
“This is a promising development in our fight against the virus,” he said, adding that thanks to more and more people getting inoculated, “cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to fall.”
The FDA’s acting commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock, said “the FDA’s expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age is a significant step in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The commissioner added that “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.”
“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,” she said.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is scheduled to meet Wednesday to develop recommendations for vaccinating this new age group.
Canada last week became the first country in the world to authorize Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine for children 12-15 years, after the pharmaceutical company announced at the end of March that it was 100 percent effective in a study of 2,260 individuals in that age group.
Pfizer has also started clinical trials of its vaccine in children aged 6 months to 11 years.
Experts haves said that the immunization of children, who make up about 20 percent of the US population, is necessary to end the coronavirus pandemic, pointing out that the country is unlikely to achieve herd immunity until minors are also vaccinated.
To date, 152.8 million people (46 percent of the US population) have received at least one dose of a vaccine, of which 115.5 million (34.8 percent) are already fully inoculated, according to the CDC. EFE