The United States Food and Drug Administration is likely to authorize the use of the COVID-19 vaccine of Pfizer for young adults of age 12 and older by the next week. The government aims at setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year.
The announcement is expected to come barely a month after Pfizer found that its vaccine, which is already approved for those age 16 years and above, is also able to provide protection for the younger group.
The US FDA action will be followed by a meeting of a federal vaccine advisory committee in order to discuss whether to recommend the Pfizer shot for the 12-15 years old.
Pfizer shots can begin after the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention adopts the committee’s recommendation. The steps can be completed in a matter of days.
Results of Pfizer vaccine study on US teenage volunteers:
In late March 2021, Pfizer had released the preliminary results from a COVID-19 vaccine study of 2,260 volunteers between the age of 12-15. The results showed that there were no cases of Coronavirus among the fully vaccinated adolescents compared with the 18 among those given the dummy shots.
The company informed that the vaccinated kids had side effects similar to young adults. The major side effects are fever, pain, fatigue, and chills, particularly after the second dose of vaccination. The study by Pfizer will continue to track the participants for two more years for more information about long-term protection and safety.
Other vaccines in US seeking approval for vaccination of teenagers:
Pfizer is not the only company in the US that has been seeking to lower the age limit for its vaccine. Results are also likely to come by the middle of 2021 from a US study of the Moderna vaccine in 12 to 17 years old.
However, in a sign that the findings were promising, the US FDA has already allowed both Pfizer and Moderna to begin the US studies in children 11 years and younger, while also working their way to as young as 6 months old.
Pfizer Vaccine in the US:
More than 131 billion doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have already been administered in the United States. The demand for vaccines among adults has dramatically slowed in recent weeks.
The US officials hope that vaccinating teens of the country will further help in reducing the virus caseload and will allow schools to reopen with minimal disruptions.
The US Government has ordered at least 300 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of July 2021, which is enough to protect 150 million people.