HealthDay News – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to expand emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine until next week to allow children ages 12 and older to be vaccinated.
After a Pfizer study in teenagers showed the vaccine worked just as well in teenagers as it did in adults, the FDA prepared to include a change in its emergency vaccine approval for that age group, the New York Times reported. Federal officials familiar with the agency’s plans and not authorized to speak publicly passed the information on, the Times said.
Medical experts welcomed the news and called it an important step forward in the US vaccination campaign. Vaccinating children is key to increasing immunity in the population, experts told The Times. It could reassure school administrators, teachers and parents if millions of students are eligible for vaccinations before schools open in September.
Ashish Jha, MD, dean of Brown University School of Public Health and father of two teenage daughters, said the approval was a big moment for families like his. “It just puts an end to concerns about having a pretty normal fall for high schoolers,” he told the Times. “It’s great for them, it’s great for schools, for families that have kids that age group.”
While most adolescents appear to be spared severe COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden government’s lead COVID-19 advisor, emphasizes the importance of expanding vaccination efforts to include them and even younger children.
The New York Times article
COVID19 General Infectious Disease Pediatric Neurology