Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine expanded to US children as young as 12
Covid-19 vaccines finally are headed for more kids as US regulators on Monday expanded use of Pfizer's shot to those as young as 12, sparking a race to protect middle and high school students before they head back to class in the fall.
Shots could begin as soon as a federal vaccine advisory committee issues recommendations for using the two-dose vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds, expected Wednesday.
Vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to a return to normalcy. Most Covid-19 vaccines rolling out worldwide have been authorized for adults. Pfizer's vaccine is being used in multiple countries for teens as young as 16, and Canada recently became the first to expand use to 12 and up. Parents, school administrators and public health officials elsewhere are anxiously awaiting the shot to become available to more kids.
The Food and Drug Administration declared the Pfizer vaccine is safe and offers strong protection for younger teens based on testing of more than 2,000 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15.
The study found no cases of Covid-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared to 18 among kids given dummy shots. More intriguing, researchers found the kids developed higher levels of virus-fighting antibodies than earlier studies measured in young adults.