The FDA has announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can now be administered to children ages 12-15. Data to gain approval was submitted to the FDA by Pfizer after a clinical trial showed promising vaccine efficacy in adolescents. Following suit to the FDA approval, an independent committee of CDC advisers gave their endorsement of the extended use on Wednesday, though the final decision on whether or not to give full CDC approval is up to Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. With this new age bracket included, 85% of the U.S. population will now be eligible for vaccination.
However, the rate of adolescents who receive the Pfizer vaccine will almost certainly not be as high as the rate for adults: less than a third of parents say they’d allow their child to get the shot immediately after its approval. How states will carry out vaccinations to this age group will also vary, as each state has its own board of licensing, pharmacy and medicine, and local rules and regulations differ. To expedite the process, the Biden administration announced that it would send packages of the Pfizer vaccine to pediatrician’s offices as soon as they are made available. In September, Pfizer hopes to also apply for approval for vaccine administration to children ages 2-11.