GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The FDA is expected to approve the emergency authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescence ages 12-15 years old.
The decision will come after months of intense trials of thousands of children within that age group.
Through those trials, the vaccines proved to be nearly 100 percent effective in children.
Dr. David Priest, with Novant Health, explained that the news is extremely encouraging.
“Adolescents will respond very vigorously to vaccines. That’s really exciting because that means that they’re going to be protected for longer periods of time than older folks. All the more reason why people in that age group should get vaccinated to help other parts of our community,” he said.
While the final details are still being decided, it’s believed that children will receive the same doses as adults, and that they will receive them in the same time frame, including a two-week period after the second dose before full vaccination.
It’s also believed that the vaccine might last longer within the younger age groups than in adults.
Children make up 22 percent of the population, and are have begun to make up a larger portion of the recent COVID-19 cases.
“What we have seen recently is that more and more of those individuals becoming ill, becoming very, very ill, and sometimes, we will have people in that age group die,” Priest said.
The hope is that parents will get their children vaccinated. Health leaders know that parents will remain skeptical, especially those who have chosen not to get vaccinated themselves.
Priest stressed that the vaccine has been proven safe for children.
“No manufacturer of a vaccine wants to put out an unsafe vaccine for children. It would potentially bankrupt a company to become the company that injured or harmed children. That’s not a good look for the industry. They care very much because if they put out a safe and effective vaccine, that’s good for their business.”
There are no scheduled vaccine clinics specifically for 12-15-year-olds. However, once approved, health centers will be able to get them online quickly.