Today, I adopt the recommendation of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) supporting the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and its use in 12- to 15-year-old adolescents. The CDC now recommends using this vaccine among this population, and vaccinating them can begin immediately.
Although most children with COVID-19 have little or no symptoms, some children may become severely ill and need to be hospitalized. There have also been rare, horrific cases of children dying from COVID-19 and its effects, including childhood multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C.
This follows the official recommendation of the CDC The FDA’s decision on Monday to allow emergency use of this vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds.external icon, and another important step to get out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and close to normal.
For it to do its job, we need to do the essential part. That means vaccinating as many people as possible. This official CDC action opens up the vaccination of an estimated 17 million young people in the United States and strengthens the nation’s efforts to protect more people from the effects of COVID-19. Vaccination of young people means their fastest return to social activities and can give parents and caregivers peace of mind knowing that their family is protected.
Some parents are already making plans for their teens to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Of course, some parents want more information before their children receive a vaccine. I encourage parents with questions to talk to your child’s healthcare provider or your family doctor to find out about the vaccine. And if your child is behind frequently recommended vaccinations due to pandemic disease or other factors, now is a good time to work with your child’s nurse or doctor to make sure they are reached.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is much easier and more convenient than ever before. About nine out of 10 Americans live within 5 miles of a COVID-19 vaccination site. In the coming weeks, two popular boarding services will offer free rides to immunization appointments until July 4. To find the place closest to you, visit vaccines.gov; text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX); or calling 1-800-232-0233.