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Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine authorized for 12-15 year-olds in the United States

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Posted: Monday, May 10, 2021. 6:05 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s vaccine to be used in children age 12 to 15 in the US.

Bloomberg said this makes mass vaccination of middle- and high-school students possible before the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

The US FDA announced today that it was expanding the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine’s original emergency use authorization to include adolescents 12 to 15 years of age.

“Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine that had been authorized for young people 16 to 18 in the US. The other vaccines authorized in the US, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are only allowed for persons 18 years and older.

The United States is the second country in authorizing Pfizer for the 12 to 15 age group as Canada had already done so on May 5.

It is expected that authorizing younger groups will speed up the vaccination drive in the United States by as much as 17 million more.

Pfizer and BioNTech conducted test trials in 2,260 adolescents and said in March that their vaccine was 100% effective in the 12-15 age group.

Pfizer is ahead of the competition already doing test trials in populations from 6 months to 11 years of age since March in the US.

Moderna is expecting results for test trials in the 12-17 age bracket in the next few weeks. After that, they will apply for emergency use authorization.

J&J started testing in the 16-17 age group at the beginning of April.

 

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