Pfizer may be the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for children as young as 12 and pediatricians are encouraging parents to get their kids vaccinated as soon as they can.
Pfizer is asking the FDA to expand the use of its COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12 to 15.
Right now, Pfizer's vaccine is the only one approved for use in people ages 16 and up, while Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are only authorized for those 18 and older.
Pfizer says its vaccine is showing 100% efficacy in adolescents 12 to 15. And data shows children as young as 16 tolerate the vaccine the same as older adults.
Kids are less likely to develop severe complications from the virus, but pediatricians say it’s important for everyone to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
Children under the age of 18 make up more than 20% of the population in the United States.
“There are still children who have bad outcomes from this disease right. We are seeing children admitted to our children's hospitals with primary COVID infections, we are seeing children admitted with the MC are the multi-system inflammatory syndrome of childhood, and those children will often end up in the ICU. And we've seen deaths from COVID in children as well. The fact that children, by and large, do well with a COVID infection is perfectly reassuring, but it's not the entire story right and so we do really strongly recommend that children get vaccinated,” said Dr. Kimberly Giuliano, a pediatrician a the Cleveland Clinic.
Again, if the emergency use authorization is approved, it would be the first COVID-19 vaccine given the green light for children as young as 12.