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On Wednesday, a group of federal advisers strongly supported the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in teens ages 12 to 15.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 14-0 with a recusal on a question about whether the use of the vaccine in this age group is recommended in the American population.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 10th issued an emergency use authorization (USA) for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 12 to 15 years of age. FDA first deleted the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through a US in December for those over 16 years of age.
Now that ACIP has issued its recommendation, it is up to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, to give the final yes or no to full federal vaccine authorization.
Vaccine “Safe and effective”
Separately, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement Wednesday in support of vaccinating all children 12 years of age or older who meet the requirements to obtain the federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
“As a pediatrician and father, I have wanted to vaccinate my own children and patients and I am delighted that those over the age of 12 can now be protected,” said AAP President Lee Savio Beers, MD. statement. “The data continues to show that this vaccine is safe and effective. I urge all parents to call their pediatrician for more information on how to vaccinate their children and teens.”
The extended elimination of the Pfizer vaccine is seen as a critical step in allowing teens to resume activities they lost during the pandemic.
“We have seen the harm done to the mental and emotional health of children as they have lost so many experiences during the pandemic,” Beers said. “Vaccination of children will protect them and allow them to participate fully in all activities (school, sports, socializing with friends and family) that are so important to their health and development.”
Kerry Dooley Young is a freelance journalist based in Washington, DC. She is the leader of the main issue on patient safety issues for the Association of Health Journalists. Young previously covered health policy and the federal budget for the nominal convening of the Quarterly Congress / QC and the pharmaceutical and food and drug administration of Bloomberg. Follow her on Twitter at @kdooleyyoung.