DETROIT – COVID-19 vaccinations for U.S. children ages 12 to 15 could begin as early as Thursday.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization Monday for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) endorsed Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 and up Wednesday. The panel’s vote was unanimous.
ACIP reviewed the safety and efficacy data for Pfizer’s trial in children ages 12-15. There were 2,260 children in the study, half received the vaccine and half received the placebo.
There were 16 cases of coronavirus in the placebo group and none in the vaccine group. The most common side effect was arm pain where the shot was given. Other side effects included fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pains and some fever and joint pain.
Seven children developed swollen lymph nodes that could have been caused by the vaccine and the majority went away within a week.
There were no deaths or severe adverse events that were found to be related to the vaccine.
There were four children who reported depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. However, the FDA found those children had a history of those conditions prior to being vaccinated and did not find them to be related to the vaccine.
There were no cases of Bell’s palsy or blood clots in the 12 to 15 year old age group and no reports of anaphylaxis.
The CDC has previous recommended two weeks separation between a COVID vaccine and any other vaccine, but has since updated the guidance that said COVID vaccines can be given at the same time as other routine vaccines.