Washington: With the intention to extending the vaccination to the next level category, the United States Food and Drug Administration has granted permission to administer Pfizer and its partner BioNTech's Covid vaccine in children as young as 12.
Until now, people with an age bracket from 16 years could have the access to COVID vaccine in the US. With the new announcement, the FDA has amended the EUA to include children aged 12 to 15. Meanwhile, the vaccine manufacturers said they had started the process for full approval for those ages last week.
Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said that permission for the younger population to access vaccine to be protected from COVID infection is a step closer to returning a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.
Woodcock also assured parents of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in children, claiming it had come to administer the vaccine to the young population after a rigorous and thorough review of all available data.
According to the FDA, about 1.5m cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in individuals 11 to 17 years of age between March 2020 and April this year.
Pfizer's vaccine is being used in multiple countries for teens as young as 16, and Canada recently became the first to expand use to 12 and up.
While children are far less likely than adults to get seriously ill, the age group represents nearly 14% of coronavirus cases in the US. At least 296 have died in the US after contracting the virus and more than 15,000 have been hospitalized, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).