Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in children as young as 12.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. regulators with the Food and Drug Administration announced the approval Monday, expanding the vaccine for use in students that could potentially head back into the classroom in the fall.
According to the Associated Press, vaccines could be administered to adolescents as soon as Thursday.
Pfizer’s vaccine is already being used in some other countries for teens as young as 16, and Canada recently approved the use in children ages 12 and up.
“This is a watershed moment in our ability to fight back [against] the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president and pediatrician.
Based on testing, the FDA said that the Pfizer vaccine provides protection against coronavirus. In a test of more than 2,000 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15, no cases of COVID-19 were noted among those who were fully vaccinated. The test showed that 16 children who were given dummy shots did later test positive for COVID-19.
Side effects of the Pfizer vaccine are the same for children as in adults and include sore arms, flu-like symptoms such as a fever or chills.
Dr. Peter Marks said the Pfizer vaccine met the FDA’s “rigorous standards.”
“Having a vaccine authorized for a younger population is a critical step in continuing to lessen the immense public health burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Marks said.
President Joe Biden said Monday’s decision signified an important step for the country.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is growing, and today it got a little brighter,” Biden said.
Another vaccine, the one from Moderna, is also seeking approval for its use in young adolescents. Moderna recently submitted preliminary results from its study in 12-to-17-year-olds and showed that it offered strong protection and no serious side effects.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have started studies in children ages six months to 11 years to determine how effective a vaccine may be for them. Results are expected in the fall.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Valentin Russanov
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.