The Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for young teens This makes all Americans ages 12 or older qualified to be inoculated. The CDC recommendation is expected Wednesday.
News outlets look at how quickly parents are likely to embrace the vaccine for their kids.
U.S. President Joe Biden has asked states to make the vaccine available to younger adolescents immediately. Biden issued a statement hailing the authorization as “a promising development in our fight against the virus.” “If you are a parent who wants to protect your child or a teenager who is interested in getting vaccinated, today’s decision is a step closer to that goal,” he said.
Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock and the FDA’s top vaccine regulator, Peter Marks, noted state-level regulations may affect where young teens are able to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Pharmacies may not be an option in some states, for example, depending on how a given state defines a pharmacist’s scope of practice.
Another key factor is whether a state has enough vaccine doses available to expand access. Supplies have increased considerably since Covid-19 vaccines began rolling out.
“I would be surprised if it were more than a week or two before kids start getting shots, and in theory, once the emergency use authorization is given, kids could get vaccinated the very next day,” said pediatrician Robert Frenck, director of the Center For Vaccine Research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which helped test the Pfizer-BioNTech shot in adolescents.
When children 12 and older get approved for the COVID-19 vaccine, the rollout should happen quickly according to the Vermont Department of Health, and parents can get ready now. A meeting this Wednesday by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to make recommendations for this age group.
“So, if you have a child in this group, start planning ahead by creating an account on our website. Or if you already have one, you can add your child to your own account as a dependent,” Health Commissioner Mark Levine said at Friday’s press conference. “Then you’ll be prepared to make their appointment when we open registration.”