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AHN Pediatricians Support Expansion of Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to Children Ages 12 to 15
PITTSBURGH (May 10, 2021) – Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in teens and children ages 12 to 15, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to vaccinate more Americans and achieve collective protection. To date, more than 260 million doses have been administered nationwide, with Pfizer receiving EUA in December for those older than 16.
In line with this latest news, Allegheny Health Network (AHN)’s Pediatric Institute strongly recommends that families get their eligible children the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination at their very first opportunity.
“Vaccinating children is an essential step in achieving herd immunity to end this pandemic. We strongly encourage adult family members to speak with their children about the importance of receiving the vaccine and make an appointment as soon as one becomes available to them,” said Joseph Aracri, DO, chair of the AHN Pediatric Institute. “This age group has been a part of clinical trials that have proven its safety and efficacy, and as pediatricians, we have vast experience with vaccinations that help to inform our expert guidance and recommendations.”
In March, Pfizer-BioNTech announced that the COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses in clinical trial participants aged 12 to 15 years old. The Phase 3 trial enrolled 2,260 adolescents in the United States and observed 18 cases of COVID-19 in the placebo group versus none in the vaccinated group. The initial clinical trial in people aged 16 and older found that the vaccine had 95% efficacy, in comparison.
“Although children haven’t been as strongly impacted by the effects of the disease compared to adults, their vaccinations will help to reduce general spread and allow them to safely return to their social activities, summer plans and later, their classrooms,” concluded Dr. Aracri.
AHN plans to host future COVID-19 vaccine clinics geared toward families and eligible children and teens. To date, the network has administered more than 335,000 vaccine doses to residents of western Pennsylvania.