The Food and Drug Administration appears to be poised to authorize use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years old by early next week, according to multiple reports.
The New York Times first reported on Monday night that federal officials familiar with the agency’s plans said that the FDA is still working on the authorization, which would open up Pfizer and German firm BioNTech’s vaccine currently only approved for people 16 and older to millions more people. The Washington Post matched that reporting.
After the FDA reaches its decision, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee is expected to meet to recommend how the vaccine should be used, the papers said.
The development comes after Pfizer announced in late March that results from its trial in adolescents showed its vaccine was at least as effective in adolescents from that age group as it is in adults.
While some parents have been eager to get their adolescents vaccinated, a campaign to sow doubt over administering the vaccine to teenagers, is already underway.
Fox New host Tucker Carlson, who last week suggested that masking children in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus amounted to “child abuse,” has taken aim at former President Barack Obama for urging teenagers over the age of 16 (who were already approved to safely get the vaccine) to do so.
Obama is eight years older than Tucker Carlson https://t.co/6xSRqpOkxE
— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) May 4, 2021
The comments, sowing doubt over the safety of the vaccine, even among an already-approved group, comes as some experts have suggested that vaccinating children could be key in raising immunity levels in the population and limiting hospitalizations and deaths.