(NEXSTAR) — Parents of adolescents may soon be able to sleep a little easier as the Food and Drug Administration reportedly plans to authorize use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds by early next week.
The report emerges from the New York Times, who says it spoke with federal officials familiar with the FDA’s plans. The move will open up vaccines to millions of Americans, and hopefully edge the country closer to reaching herd immunity.
The Times said the authorization may come as early as late this week. If granted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory panel will, in all likelihood, meet the next day to review clinical trials and make a formal recommendation.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have been conducting clinical trials on their COVID-19 vaccines for youth and adolescents. In March, Pfizer said its clinical trials revealed its vaccine to be 100% effective for kids ages 12 to 15. Kids had side effects similar to young adults, the company said. The main side effects are pain, fever, chills and fatigue, particularly after the second dose.
“We share the urgency to expand the use of our vaccine,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. At the time, he expressed “the hope of starting to vaccinate this age group before the start of the next school year” in the U.S.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.