SILVER SPRING, Maryland, May 10, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to include children ages 12 to 15 years.
Expansion of the EPA’s emergency use authorization represents a milestone in the U.S. efforts to stem the coronavirus pandemic, with clinical trials showing the Pfizer vaccine has “100% efficacy and robust antibody responses” in the 12- to 15-year-old age group.
The Utah Department of Health welcomed the news in a statement released Monday afternoon.
“The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is encouraged by today’s news that the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age.
“There are approximately 215,000 Utah children in this age group and expanding vaccine access to them will push us even closer to the finish line in our battle against COVID-19,” said Dr. Michelle Hofmann, deputy director of the UDOH. “Data presented by Pfizer indicate its vaccine is highly effective at preventing COVID-19 in this age group. In fact, none of the clinical trial participants who received the vaccine ever became infected with COVID-19.”
The UDOH counseled providers to wait for official guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention before administering the vaccine to the younger age group.
“The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet this Wednesday, May 12, and is expected to issue its recommendation during the meeting,” the UDoH said. “Individual providers will determine how quickly they can begin administering vaccine following ACIP’s guidance.”