May 18, 2021 - Health

600,000 kids between 12 and 15 have received Pfizer dose since FDA authorization

Picture of CDC Director Walensky
Photo: JIM LO SCALZO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced on Tuesday that 600,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 have received a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since the FDA granted emergency authorization for that age group last Monday.

Why it matters: Vaccinating teens and children will play a key role in fully reopening schools and fully curbing the pandemic in the U.S.

  • While it is less likely for young people to fall severely ill from COVID-19, infections can still happen. More than 3 million adolescents under the age of 17 have contracted the virus, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Tuesday.
  • Pfizer has said its vaccine was 100% effective at protecting against the virus in children between the ages of 12 and 15.

The big picture: More than 4.1 million adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 have been vaccinated to date, since the Pfizer vaccine had been authorized for people over 16, Walensky said at a press briefing.

  • "Yesterday, we had a landmark day as the president announced more than 60% of people, 18 years or older, have received at least one vaccine dose," she added.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that more than 4.1 million adolescents have been vaccinated to date because Pfizer's vaccine was the only shot to receive FDA authorization for people ages 16 and older.

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