MADERA COUNTY, California. (KGPE) – The FDA is extending the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine’s emergency use authorization to children as young as 12. Shots could begin as soon as Thursday.
Dr. Hailey Nelson from Valley Children’s Hospital said the stamp of approval means another step toward normalcy.
“I am so excited. I think that this is just a ray of hope. This is the next step in the pandemic of us being able to kind of continue on,” she said.
A federal vaccine advisory committee is expected to issue recommendations for the age group Wednesday, paving the way for use in younger adolescents.
“(For parents it will) lower that stress level that your child’s going to get sick because you can now get them protected,” Nelson said.
According to Pfizer, a clinical trial of more than 2,000 12 to 15 years olds showed the vaccine was 100 percent effective.
“This was tested real time so these were children who were enrolled in the studies who were going to school, who were wearing their masks, that were doing all the other things and they didn’t get sick, unlike the control group who didn’t get the vaccine and they did see cases of coronavirus,” Nelson said.
The young teens received the same dose as adults, and saw similar side effects including flu-like symptoms chills and body aches.
Pfizer plans on seeking emergency use authorization for children ages 2 to 11 in September.
The expanded authorization means 85% of the US population is now eligible to be vaccinated.