CDC panel recommends Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents

The CDC's vaccine advisory panel voted May 12 to recommend using Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine in children as young as 12, The Washington Post reported. 

The vote was 14 in favor and one recusal. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, released a statement shortly after the vote saying she has adopted the panel's recommendation, making it an official CDC recommendation. 

The FDA authorized the shot to be given to 12-15 year olds May 10.

The CDC panel consists of 15 medical professionals, including pediatricians and infectious disease physicians, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

Though physicians are not technically supposed to start giving the shots to kids as young as 12 until the CDC issues its recommendation, some began doing so before the panel's vote, CNN reported. Physicians already have the vaccine on hand, and the CDC's approval was a foregone conclusion, according to CNN. Because the vaccine is already authorized by the FDA, there's little to stop medical professionals from exercising their judgment and administering the shot. 

Most vaccination sites are expected to start giving vaccinations to children as young as 12 starting May 13, according to the Journal. There are about 17 million children ages 12 to 15 in the U.S. now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Clinical trial data released in March showed Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine was 100 percent effective at protecting against symptomatic COVID-19 in a study of 2,260 kids ages 12 to 15.


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