WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel Wednesday voted to back the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which provides recommendations to the CDC, voted to back the vaccine, after reviewing trial evidence that showed no one in the 12-15 age group who received the vaccine got COVID-19, and there were no cases of Bell’s palsy or severe allergic reactions.
This comes just days after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccine for use in the younger age group, offering relief to parents eager to get their children back to schools and summer camps. Previously, only those 16 and older were eligible for the vaccine. Some states, including Georgia, Delaware and Arkansas, began offering the vaccine to younger teens on Tuesday.
Studies conducted by Pfizer showed the vaccine not only was safe for the younger teenagers but also nearly eliminated all risk of catching COVID-19. The company did note that some children have similar reactions to adults from the second shot, including fever, chills, and aches.
Pfizer is also running a separate trial testing the vaccine in children as young as 6-months-old and has said it expects data on its use in 2- to 11-year-olds in September.
The rollout of a vaccine for adolescents should help further limit the spread of the virus at a time when more contagious variants are circulating and could shorten the road to normalcy for Americans.
About one in three Americans have been fully vaccinated according to data compiled by the CDC, with the pace of vaccination slowing in the recent weeks.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced his administration’s new goal of 70% of American adults getting at least one vaccine dose and 160 million being fully vaccinated by July 4.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.