Parents everywhere rejoice; the vaccine is rolling out for tweens. The Food and Drug Administration will be opening up approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for kids between the ages of 12 and 15 years old as early as next week.
This news comes on the heels of waning vaccine rates across the country as many experts fear that if we slow our roll too much, we’ll miss an opportunity to reach herd immunity.
Breaking News: The FDA is said to be preparing to expand use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to adolescents as young as 12 by next week, opening up the nation’s vaccination campaign to millions more Americans. https://t.co/98ekRAwqNG
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 3, 2021
This good news means that Pfizer can begin ramping up its efforts to vaccines millions more Americans and make our communities safer.
Ever since the Pfizer company began releasing early clinical trial results that showed that the vaccine is as effective in kids as young as 12 as it is in adults, there has been much anticipation for when the vaccine could finally be released.
No one knows the timeline for rollout, though.
New York Times reporters reached out to Food and Drug Administration’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Caccomo, who said that she couldn’t give an estimated timeline but did say that “We can assure the public that we are working to review this request as quickly and transparently as possible.”
Given the breakneck pace that the vaccines were developed, manufactured, and transported to vaccination sites across the country, it is entirely possible that the wait for this next phase of rollout won’t be much longer.
Rumors online have swirled recently that the vaccine for kids under 12 might not be ready until 2022, but Pfizer says that they plan to seek approval for the use of their two-shot vaccine in kids between the ages of 2 and 11 years old in September.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Tuesday that the administration is preparing to “make that accessible to additional, younger populations.”
So what happens after the Pfizer vaccine is approved for adolescent kids?
Before those shots can reach any child’s arm, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will review the FDA approval, which includes data such as clinical trials then make recommendations for how to do a phased rollout as we saw with the first round of vaccines.
Kids with underlying medical conditions, presumably, would go first.
For those interested in Moderna, that company is currently racing to release its vaccine to kids as well.
They are in the middle of clinical trials for kids ages 16 and under, and it is expected that they will release data as soon as this summer.
As of today, more than 131 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered in the United States.
With the addition of kids getting access to this vaccine, many parents and school officials will be able to breathe a tiny bit of relief as they prepare for the next school year.
To date, 578K Americans, including more than 300 children, have died from Covid19. To prevent Covid, please follow the CDC guidelines to wash your hands regularly, social distance, and wear a mask.
For more information on updated CDC guidelines for this summer here.