ALABAMA, USA — Younger teens could soon be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will consider approving the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for kids as young as twelve as early as next week.
ADPH Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers said, "I think it's a very exciting part of our being able to decrease the overall transmission of COVID-19."
Pfizer says there have been no serious reactions to their vaccine in kids 12 to 15 years old. They reported their vaccine has proven to be 100% effective in this age group.
"One hundred percent, I mean that's really, really excellent, but it certainly may come in at a little lower than that, the high nineties," said Dr. Landers.
Although kids and teens are typically at a lower risk, they can have a severe case and lingering symptoms known as "long COVID." Health officials say they are anxious to have children protected against potential complications of the virus.
"Absolutely as a pediatrician I think this is going to be a very important way for us to protect our children and to get their lives back to normal," said Dr. Landers.
This approval would allow many teens to be vaccinated before the start of next school year.
Dr. Landers said, "Having more children immunized will allow us to be able to have more children back in the classroom and also to keep our children in the classroom so that we do not have to have intermittent episodes where children have to be home quarantined as a result of COVID exposure."
If and when Pfizer's vaccine is approved for younger teens, a federal vaccine advisory committee will decide whether or not to recommend it for people twelve and older. Then, the CDC will act on the committee's decision.
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