FDA to authorize the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 12-15 as early as next week, The New York Times reports

pfizer vaccine
Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19.

  • The FDA is reportedly set to OK the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds by next week.
  • Pfizer said in March that its vaccine was highly effective in a trial of over 2,000 adolescents.
  • Nearly 150 million Americans had gotten at least one dose of a vaccine as of May 3, CDC data showed.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Food and Drug Administration is set to authorize the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 years old as early as next week, The New York Times reported Monday.

Following FDA authorization, an advisory panel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will review data and results from clinical trials to draft recommendations on the use of the vaccine for those 12-15 years old, according to The Times report.

Pfizer announced in late March that their vaccine was highly effective in a trial of more than 2,000 adolescents, and the vaccine was “well tolerated” among those ages 12 to 15. Pfizer said the side effects of the vaccine experienced by those ages 12-15 were similar to those ages 16 to 25.

The CDC opened up vaccine eligibility to people who were 16 years or older in April, and those who were 16- or 17-years-old were only allowed to receive Pfizer while those 18 and up are authorized to receive Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a March statement the company shares the “urgency to expand the authorization of our vaccine to use in younger populations.” He said he hopes that the clinical trial data will prompt officials to start vaccinating the age group “before the start of the next school year.”

An FDA spokeswoman declined to comment to The Times on the agency’s timeline of authorizing the vaccine for adolescents.

“We can assure the public that we are working to review this request as quickly and transparently as possible,” the spokeswoman told The Times.

Nearly 150 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of May 3, according to data from the CDC, equating to roughly 44% of the US population.

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