May 11, 2021 - 16:00 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. regulators have authorized the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech to be used by children as young as 12 years of age, widening the pool of those eligible to get inoculated, the Voice of America reports.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday, May 10 the shot is safe and effective for children ages 12 to 15. The vaccine is already available under an emergency use authorization to those 16 and older.
"Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from Covid-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic," Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement.
The Pfizer vaccine is the first in the United States to be approved for younger people. The approval comes as U.S. officials are seeking to inoculate a larger percentage of the population and will likely prompt millions of U.S. middle and high school students to try to be vaccinated before they head back to class in the fall.
While most children with Covid-19 only develop mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all, they are still able to pass along the virus to others.
In March, Pfizer released preliminary results from a vaccine trial involving more than 2,000 volunteers ages 12 to 15. The trial showed that none of the fully vaccinated adolescents came down with Covid-19 or experienced serious side effects.