Pfizer vaccine now authorized for use in 12-15-year-olds

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine on a medical tray

There is more exciting news on the COVID-19 vaccine front! Earlier this week, the FDA authorized the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children 12-15 years old. As a next step, The Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed the data May 12 and have recommended the use of the vaccine in this age group. Adolescents can now start getting vaccinated as supply allows.

This is a major and important step in the country’s fight against COVID-19. Vaccinating adolescents will help to raise the level of immunity in the population and bring down the number of hospitalizations and deaths caused by this disease. Not to mention, the more people who have access to and receive the vaccination the faster we can end this pandemic and get things back to normal.

Getting your child vaccinated for COVID-19 is a personal decision, and we’re sure you have some questions. Keep reading to find out more.

Is the Pfizer vaccine safe?

Yes. The FDA has already determined that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and highly effective in preventing COVID-19, and it’s already authorized for use in people 16 and over in the U.S. In fact, Pfizer’s clinical trials of adolescents in the U.S. have found the vaccine highly effective with no evidence of serious side effects. Learn more about the Pfizer vaccine here.

I’ve heard that the risk of severe illness is very low in kids. Is it really necessary to vaccinate my kids?

For most kids, there is a low risk of severe illness, hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19. But some kids can still get very ill and require hospitalization, especially those with other health conditions. We also know that kids can still get infected and bring the virus home to someone who may be at a greater risk of serious illness or death. The COVID-19 shot is the best way to protect your kids and those around them.

The COVID-19 vaccine may also make you feel more at ease with your kids resuming normal activities — hanging out with friends, playing sports or returning to in-person school if that’s an option where you live.

What are the side effects of the vaccine for kids 12-15?

The Pfizer clinical trials show that the side effects for adolescents are similar to those in the 16-25 age group, which are usually mild and can include pain at the injection site, feeling tired, nausea, fever, chills, headache or muscle pain. These side effects usually only last a few days at most.

Still have questions? Get more of your vaccine questions answered by visiting our COVID-19 resource page.

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