INDIANAPOLIS — Pfizer is awaiting the approval of the food and drug administration to begin administering its vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 15. Approval could come as early as next week.
A study from Pfizer’s latest clinical trial showed an efficacy of 100% in more than 2,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15 at the end of March.
“Overall, the Pfizer vaccine is incredibly safe, and it provides a really great amount of protection against COVID,” said Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, IU Riley Hospital for Children, Dr. Samina Bhumbra.
Dr. Bhumbra adds the approval for younger Hoosiers is another step toward boosting those percentages as we race toward herd immunity.
“I think the more people we vaccinate the closer we can get to perhaps a closer point of normalcy again,” said Dr. Bhumbra.
President Joe Biden says if the approval is given, officials are ready to start vaccinating more teenagers.
“I want American parents to know that if that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately, immediately move to make about 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents as soon as the FDA grants it’s ok,” said President Biden.
Dr. Bhumbra understands many parents may be on the fence since children have experienced no symptoms or mild symptoms.
“It’s a matter of not just protecting ourselves but protecting others the best we can,” said Dr. Bhumbra.
Still, she and the president agree getting them vaccinated is important.
“We know adolescents are at risk from COVID-19 the most serious illness at that age range is rare they can still get sick and spread the virus and to others,” said Dr. Bhumbra.
When it comes to symptoms, Dr. Bhumbra says for younger teens it’s been like what’s been seen in the 16 -25 age group.
“And so, what does that mean? It means mainly arm soreness, fatigue, muscle achiness,” said Dr. Bhumbra.
Dr. Bhumbra urges anyone with questions to consult their personal doctor.
If this is approved and goes well the FDA will consider emergency use authorization for children ages 2 to 11. They’re hoping that can begin in September. The trial for children ages 6 months to 11 years old is ongoing.