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Kids As Young As 12 May Be Able To Get The COVID-19 Vaccine Soon

A young woman wearing a blue shirt gets a shot in her arm from a woman wearing a lab coat
A group of teenagers serving as COVID-19 Student Ambassadors receive a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Detroit, Michigan on April 6, 2021.
(Matthew Hatcher
/
Getty Images)
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The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 in the next few days.

Pfizer reported several weeks ago that in the clinical trial, none of the adolescents who received the vaccine developed symptomatic infections, a sign of significant protection.

Barbara Ferrer, director of L.A. County's Department of Public Health, said her staff is prepared to offer the shot, for free, to kids.

"We already use Pfizer at all of the county sites," Ferrer said. "We are working with our staff so they will be well prepared to start vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds. We’re working with the state on a standardized consent form. One reason we’re expanding all of the sites at our schools is so that, again, we have more places children are already at for them to be able to easily get vaccinated."

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NPR recently reported that children now account for 22% of new COVID-19 cases in the United States. Experts link the trend to several factors including more transmissible coronavirus variants and high vaccination rates among older Americans.

After the FDA’s emergency use authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory panel will meet to review the clinical trial data and make recommendations for how the vaccine should be used with 12 to 15-year-olds.

Pfizer is the only COVID-19 vaccine that has, so far, been approved for minors.