FDA expands emergency use authorization for Pfizer COVID vaccine for ages 12-15

Coronavirus

(WTNH) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 Monday.

Back on Dec. 11, 2020, the FDA amended their emergency use authorization to include those 16 and older.

The FDA commissioner called the expansion a significant step in the fight against COVID-19.

RELATED: Pfizer only COVID vaccine approved for 16, 17-year-olds, parent consent required

However, health experts though want to make something clear – there is still a process that needs to take place before you can take your child to get that shot in the arm.

This emergency use authorization came from the manufacturer itself, in this case, Pfizer to the FDA for the emergency use authorization. An external panel of vaccine experts will then vet the emergency use authorization and submit a recommendation to the head of the Center for Disease Control for routine use – so experts say it is recommended that parents wait until the seal of approval comes down from the CDC, which could be sometime soon.

The panel is set to meet on Wednesday in Connecticut State leaders say it is a step in the right direction and experts echo the sentiments.

Dr. Marietta Vasquez, Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Yale School of Medicine, added, “If you think of the solution to the pandemic – it’s 360 – it’s clear that it’s vaccinations and it’s clear that you cannot vaccinate on part of the population and not the other if everyone gets infected.”

State leaders are calling the emergency use authorization part of the solution in turning a corner in the pandemic.

“Our goal is to get as many people in Connecticut vaccinated as soon as possible which cuts down at the risk of transmission which means we need to focus on young people as well.”

Vaccinations for kids ages 12-15 are likely to begin once the CDC receives guidance from the advisory committee on immunization practices. Experts say it could be as simple as taking your child to your pediatrician’s office or to a clinic near you.

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