U.S. states are set to begin using the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech to inoculate young adolescents against COVID-19 after advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) backed the plan in a unanimous vote on Wednesday.
CDC PANEL: “14 yays and 1 recusal, the motion passes…” Advisors to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday unanimously voted to allow the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to inoculate younger adolescents against COVID-19….
Offering relief to parents eager to get their children back to schools and summer camps.
U.S. President Joe Biden hailed the move as important progress in the battle against COVID.
BIDEN: “We're going to have for the first time a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents over the 12 years of age.
This is one more giant step in our fight against the pandemic...I encourage their parents to make sure they get the shot.” Some states, including Georgia, Delaware and Arkansas, began offering the vaccine to younger teens on Tuesday.
California's main COVID-19 site said families could start making appointments for the younger group on Thursday.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee weighed in just days after the FDA gave its stamp of approval - after reviewing trial evidence that showed no one in the 12-15 age group who received the vaccine got COVID-19, and there were no cases of Bell’s Palsy or severe allergic reactions.
Moreover, the vaccine produced robust antibody responses in the group.
The rollout of a vaccine for adolescents should help limit the spread of the virus at a time when more contagious variants are circulating, and could shorten the road to normalcy for Americans… Children have been considered by health officials as being at a lower risk for severe COVID-19, but they can still spread the virus.
More than 1.5 million cases have been reported among 12 to 17 year olds, and as more adults become vaccinated, adolescents are accounting for a higher proportion of total cases.
According to CDC data, about a third of all Americans have been fully vaccinated.
But the pace of vaccination has slowed in recent weeks.