Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in 12 to 15 year olds

HCPS+staff+arrive+in+the+HHS+gymnasium+commons+to+receive+their+COVID-19+vaccine+in+February.

Dani T Medhin

HCPS staff arrive in the HHS gymnasium commons to receive their COVID-19 vaccine in February.

Monday, May 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals 12 and older. Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for persons over 16, so the new approval expands Pfizer’s use to 12 to 15 year olds. Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock noted in a statement Monday that this expansion marks a “significant step” in the country’s fight against coronavirus. 

“Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic,” Woodcock said. “Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”

Following the authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the FDA’s decision May 12. The same day, the Virginia Department of Health announced that Virginia vaccine providers can begin using Pfizer in 12 to 15 year olds, accepting the FDA and CDC’s recommendations.

At Harrisonburg City Public Schools, this means students as young as sixth graders can receive the Pfizer vaccine. To make a vaccine appointment, visit the Virginia Vaccination website to find a clinic. Additionally, upcoming Harrisonburg vaccine clinics can be found here.

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