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CDC panel clears way to COVID-19 vaccines for U.S. adolescents

Stock MarketsMay 13, 2021 01:57PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tami Chappell/File Photo 2/2

By Michael Erman and Manojna Maddipatla

(Reuters) -U.S. states are set to begin using the vaccine from Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) to inoculate young adolescents against COVID-19 after advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) backed the plan in a unanimous vote on Wednesday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized the vaccine for children aged 12 to 15, offering relief to parents eager to get their children back to schools and summer camps. The action by the CDC group is an important, but not required, final seal of federal regulatory approval.

The youngest age previously approved for the Pfizer vaccine was 16 years old.

Some states, including Georgia, Delaware and Arkansas, began offering the vaccine to young teens on Tuesday. California's main COVID-19 website said families could start making appointments for the younger group on Thursday.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which provides recommendations to the CDC, voted 14-0 to back the vaccine after reviewing trial evidence. That showed no one in the 12-to-15 age group who received the vaccine got COVID-19. There were no severe allergic reactions.

Moreover, the vaccine produced robust antibody responses in the age group and showed 100% efficacy in the trial, with no cases of symptomatic COVID-19 among the fully vaccinated adolescents.

The move will open vaccination to about 17 million adolescents, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement, saying the agency officially recommends the vaccine.

The vaccination "will decrease transmission within their family," said Dr. Henry Bernstein, a member of the advisory committee and professor of pediatrics at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. "It will contribute to community immunity, and it allows the kids to more safely go back to camps this summer, and back for in-person school."

About a third of all Americans have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC data. But the pace of vaccination has slowed in the recent weeks.

The rollout of a vaccine for adolescents should help limit the spread of the virus at a time when more contagious variants are circulating, and could shorten the road to normalcy for Americans.

Children have been considered by health officials as being at a lower risk for severe COVID-19, but they can still spread the virus. More than 1.5 million cases have been reported among 12 to 17 year olds, and as more adults become vaccinated, adolescents are accounting for a higher proportion of total cases.

Adjusted for underreporting, the working group estimated 22.2 million U.S. COVID-19 infections in those aged 5 to 17.

Pfizer is running a separate vaccine trial in children as young as 6 months old, and has said it expects data on 2 to 11 year olds in September. The 2,260 participants in the 12-to-15 age group - half of whom were given placebo - were tested as an expansion of Pfizer's more than 46,000-person trial.

CDC panel clears way to COVID-19 vaccines for U.S. adolescents
 

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Comments (10)
Rudolph Docauer
Rudolph Docauer May 13, 2021 6:19PM ET
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Why should a child with a strong immune system and with a 99.99x percent survival rate from this so-called virus be forced to get an experimental vaccine that is untried and not recognized by the FDA???In 4 months of giving these shots over 4500 people have died from it. That's more than 20 years of all the vaccines given combined.NO THANKS!!!
lilian manning
lilian manning May 13, 2021 2:59PM ET
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MSM intentionally not talking about Fauci/NIH support and payment to the Wuhan Virology Lab that was conducting genetic research on COVID-19 precursors prior to COVID-19 spreading from Wuhan to the entire globe. Meanwhile, they called Trump racist for limiting travel from China before the virus had spread from China to the globe, but refuse to call Biden racist for limiting travel from India after the virus is already spread throughout the globe and endemic.
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty May 13, 2021 2:54PM ET
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children are not at risk but let's see what happens if we give them gene therapy. government needs to be abolished!
danny Levine
danny Levine May 12, 2021 4:51PM ET
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profits is all this about
Jose Soberanes
Jose Soberanes May 12, 2021 4:38PM ET
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That is the most evil and horrible thing to do to your children!
Charles Sims
Charles Sims May 12, 2021 4:23PM ET
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Giving experimental vaccines to children for a virus that poses no threat to them while there has been a rises in cases and resistant strains since the initiation of mass vaccination in low risk individuals is the most irresponsible thing that I have hear. Then again, it was never about public health, it was about government control and making money for the pharma companies. The government misusing fear to acquire money and power, like tyrannical governments throughout history.
Charles Sims
Charles Sims May 12, 2021 4:22PM ET
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You mean the same CDC that has been wrong about everything related to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic?
james marshall
james marshall May 12, 2021 4:19PM ET
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99.9% survival rate, but a vaccine is needed...twilight zone
GJ DJT
GJDJT May 12, 2021 4:19PM ET
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Tell that to people of India.
James Pattison
James Pattison May 12, 2021 1:49PM ET
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Kids arent threetened by covid 19... where is the trial vaccine for athletes foot? Or pink eye
dc Gpswill
dc Gpswill May 12, 2021 6:46AM ET
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I take HCQ
 
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