(AP) – The U.S. is expanding use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12.
The Food and Drug Administration said Monday the shot is safe and offers strong protection for younger teens based on testing of more than 2,000 U.S. volunteers.
Shots could begin soon once a federal vaccine panel issues recommendations for using the vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds.
“The FDA’s expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age is a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “Today’s action allows 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.
“Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”
Vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to a return to normalcy.
Most vaccines rolling out worldwide have been authorized for adults.
The latest news is welcome for U.S. families struggling to decide what activities are safe to resume when only the youngest family members remain unvaccinated.