The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Monday that teens of the ages of 12 through 15 are now eligible to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which had only previously been available for Americans 16 and older.
Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in the announcement that the vaccine program expansion “allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.”
“Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations,” she continued.
“Having a vaccine authorized for a younger population is a critical step in continuing to lessen the immense public health burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.
According to a tracker by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 34.8 percent is fully vaccinated.