Pfizer, BioNTech request expanded use of COVID-19 in children 12-15

Vaccine maker says it is aiming to have shots available for 12-15 age group before new school year

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 is shown at a one-day vaccination clinic set up in an facility in Seattle and operated by Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Pfizers vaccine is authorized for use in ages 16 and older. Experts have said vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to stopping the pandemic. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File) (Ted S. Warren, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech are requesting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expand emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12-15.

Pfizer said Friday that it plans to request similar rulings by other regulatory authorities worldwide in coming days. They are aiming to have this age group vaccinated in time for school in the fall.

“Pending regulatory decision, our hope is to make this vaccine available to the 12-15-year-old age group before the start of the 2021 school year,” reads a statement from Pfizer.

Right now, the Pfizer/BioNTech two-dose vaccine is authorized for use in people as young as 16. The U.K. and U.S. gave the emergency green light to roll out Pfizer’s vaccine late last year followed by many other countries. The vaccine maker announced April 1 that its vaccine continues to be effective against COVID-19 up to six months later.

The United States has administered more than 90 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine as of 6 a.m. Thursday, April 8, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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