CDC advisory panel to review safety of Pfizer vaccine for children 12-15

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Jan. 22, 2021, file photo, empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a vaccination center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(WPRI) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory panel will meet Wednesday to review clinical trial data and make recommendations for Pfizer’s vaccine use in adolescents.

The decision comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration analyzed critical data showing the vaccine was 100% effective in more than 2,200 children ages 12 – 15.

On Monday, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s vaccine for children in that age group.

If the panel votes yes, vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds could begin as early as Thursday.

Rhode Island health officials decided not to wait for the CDC advisory meeting to begin offering the Pfizer vaccine to children ages 12 – 15. On Tuesday, the Health Department announced parents and guardians are now able to register children in that age group for appointments on VaccinateRI.org.

Health Department spokesperson Joseph Wendelken said in addition to the state-run sites, adolescents are also eligible to get the vaccine at municipal clinics, and pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens are expected to be added later in the week.

A signed parental consent form is needed for 12- to 15-year-olds, and Alexander-Scott is encouraging parents or guardians to be present at the appointments. She also said the state will be working with cities, towns and school departments to offer clinics in schools and allow children to get vaccinated with parental consent.

“Right now, you are the group that can start thinking about helping a loved one get their shot. We are so excited that we can expand to this younger age,” Alexander-Scott said to parents.

The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still only available to people 18 and older.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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