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The FDA has approved the COVID-19 vaccine for young people

The FDA has approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents

SHARE The FDA has approved the COVID-19 vaccine for young people
Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared in Utah.

Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized emergency use for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those 12 to 15 years old.

  • The FDA originally approved emergency use for the vaccine for adults on Dec. 11, 2020.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said in a statement that this is a big step in protecting the country’s fight against COVID-19.

  •  “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,” Woodcock said in a statement. “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.”

The novel coronavirus has created 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 among those 11 to 17 years old, according to the FDA.

The FDA was expected to approve this measure for the last few weeks. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet Wednesday to recommend how the vaccine should be used, according to The Washington Post. Once the CDC signs off, it can be distributed.

A new survey from ParentsTogether found that parents are split on whether or not they’re excited about the vaccine. About 58% said that they would get their children vaccinated, which is less than the 71% who said they would get the vaccine, according to USA Today.

Mary Carol Burkhardt, a pediatrician for primary care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, told USA Today that parents are cautious about vaccinating their children.

  • “We’re certainly seeing both sides of the coin,” she said. “Some parents want to be first in line and want to get their kids protected … on the other side, we have a lot of families who are not hesitant but don’t want to be first.”

Experts said the COVID-19 vaccine will help children stay safe as officials look to reopen schools amid the pandemic, according to The Washington Post.

Kawsar R. Talaat, who works as an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told The Washington Post that the news is a good sign for children moving forward.

  • “Adolescents, especially, have suffered tremendously from the COVID pandemic. Even though they’re less likely than adults to be hospitalized or have severe illness, their lives really have been curtailed in many parts of the country,” Talaat said. “A vaccine gives them an extra layer of protection and allows them to go back to being kids.”