Pfizer vaccine for adolescents to get FDA approval; much-anticipated decision opens door for 12-15 year-olds

By Karen Weintraub | USA TODAY

The Food and Drug Administration is likely to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents within the next week, according to the New York Times and CNN.

So far, the vaccines have been approved only for use in adults and older teens. The FDA authorization would allow the Pfizer-BioNTech shots to be given to 12- to 15-year-olds for the first time, once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also signs off.

Many parents have been eagerly awaiting vaccines for their children, hoping for protection and to return school and social lives to something more normal. 

“What I’m hearing right now is support for the measure,” said Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pinkett, chief medical officer of Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. “Parents want their children to be in school and they want them to be protected.”

Siblings Sam, 12, and Audrey Baker, 15, of Cincinnati were both part of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine trial for adolescents.

Her clinic, which has vaccinated 33,000 adults and older teens would be ready to offer Pfizer-BioNTech shots to younger adolescents as soon as they are allowed, she said.

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