FDA Expands Pfizer Vaccine EUA for Children Ages 12-15

John Whyte, MD, MPH


May 11, 2021

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JOHN WHYTE: Hi, everyone. I'm Dr. John Whyte, chief medical officer at WebMD. The FDA today granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer to start vaccinating kids ages 12 through 15 against COVID. Previously, Pfizer had received authorization for people ages 16 years of age and older.

FDA reviewers determined that the vaccine was highly effective in protecting kids against getting COVID-19. And the safety profile was similar -- kids might get fever, headache, some achy arms, as well as some general fatigue.

Now it's true that COVID is less common in kids this age group. And when they do get COVID, it's less serious. But keep this in mind: Nearly 12% of all COVID cases have been in kids, and over 300 children have died. So the vaccine is an important strategy to keep our young kids safe. They represent nearly 5% of our population. And if we want to reach herd immunity, this is an important tool to get there, to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.

I know you'll have some questions. So I encourage you to talk to your doctor about what's right for your kids.

This interview originally appeared on WebMD on May 11, 2021

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