The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention has voted to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to children between 12 and 15, though a handful of states already lowered age restrictions on vaccines ahead of the vote.
On May 12, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to approve the vaccine, deciding the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks. The Food and Drug Administration also extended the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine on May 10.
“This is a promising development in our fight against the virus,” President Biden said May 10. “If you are a parent who wants to protect your child, or a teenager who is interested in getting vaccinated, today’s decision is a step closer to that goal.”
So far, there have been 1.5 million reported cases and more than 13,000 hospitalizations among children 12 to 17 years old, CDC officials reported. Plus, children can be big spreaders of the virus. Children are also making up a greater share of Covid-19 cases as more adults become vaccinated.
In addition, the CDC said it’s okay for teenagers to receive the Covid-19 vaccine alongside other vaccinations. Some children and teenagers may be behind on their vaccinations due to delayed healthcare visits during the pandemic. Vaccinations will help a return to normal, according to the White House.
“Millions of 16- and 17-year-olds have been safely vaccinated, and as more and more Americans get vaccinated, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to fall,” Biden said in a statement. “The safe and effective vaccines are curbing the spread of the virus, saving thousands of lives, and allowing millions of Americans to start returning to a closer to normal life.”