The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 to 15. This is exciting and welcome news in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FDA determined that available data meets their rigorous standards to support emergency use of this vaccine in individuals 12 and older, and that the benefits outweigh any known or potential risks. While fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Children, like adults, who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms (“asymptomatic”) can still spread the virus to others. Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all. However, some children can get severely ill from COVID-19.
This past year has been challenging, and many of us have faced difficult decisions that affect the health of our families and communities. Now, parents have an opportunity to decide to vaccinate their children. To locate a vaccine for you or your child, visit Vaccine Finder. When searching for a vaccine for your child, you can filter the search results to display locations offering the Pfizer vaccine.
Vaccinating children is a significant step in battling the pandemic and we encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Our decisions now will impact our workforce, our families, our communities, and the way school will reopen in the fall. If you have any questions about vaccinating your child, please speak with your family’s pediatrician.