The Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 15 on an emergency use basis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is set to convene on Wednesday to update its recommendation for who should receive the Pfizer shots.
FDA acting commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock called the authorization “a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
She added that it will allow “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.”
The news comes weeks after Pfizer announced results from its trial in adolescents showed the vaccine is at least as effective in that age group as it is in adults. As of now, the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for use in individuals aged 16 and older.
The drugmaker reported that none of the adolescents who received the vaccine in its clinical trial developed symptomatic infections. Pfizer announced in late March that participants showed strong antibody responses and experienced similar side effects to those seen in people ages 16 to 25.
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