A panel of experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted to move forward with the approval process for the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine among children between the ages of 12 and 15.
By a 14-0 vote on Wednesday afternoon, May 12, the CDC panel recommended the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children 12 and up, with the decision now moving forward to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky for final approval.
Once approved by Walensky, which is expected to happen quickly, it will be at states’ discretion about whether or not to move forward vaccinating children.
According to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) agreed the benefits of vaccinating children and teens outweigh any risks from the vaccine. The move comes days after the US Food and Drug Administration extended its emergency use authorization to that age group.
As recently as April, approximately 9 percent of COVID-19 cases in America were in those aged between 12 and 17, though more recently, though new data found that nearly 20 percent of infections have been reported in teens and children.
The CDC also unveiled a change in vaccine recommendations allowing multiple vaccines, including COVID-19 shots, to be administered at the same time
“The vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials, Dr. Sara Oliver of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases noted to CNN. "The clinical trial for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine demonstrated efficacy against symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed Covid-19. The efficacy was 100 percent.
“Adolescents 12 to 17 years of age are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19,” she added. “There have been over 1.5 million reported cases and over 13,000 hospitalizations to date among adolescents 12 to 17 years.”
Last week, Pfizer also said that it expects to apply for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in children between the ages of 2 and 11 as soon as September. They are also studying the efficacy of the vaccine in children between the ages of 6 months and 11 years old.
“I would encourage all parents to get vaccinations for their children,” Walensky said at a Senate hearing this week. “These kids want their lives back. They want to go back to school. They want to go back to the things they love.”
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