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Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds by next week, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Opening up vaccine eligibility to young people and children will be crucial as the U.S. works to achieve herd immunity.

The big picture: The FDA approval for teens could come in early next week or even sooner, per AP.

  • The agency is also expected to approve the vaccine for even younger children in the fall.
  • Pfizer has said its vaccine was 100% effective at protecting against COVID-19 in a trial of more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

Go deeper

May 3, 2021 - Health

Some experts now say U.S. unlikely to reach herd immunity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Some public health experts and scientists now believe that the U.S. is unlikely to reach herd immunity, and that the coronavirus will instead become "a manageable threat" that circulates for years, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Many emerging viruses become part of the viral ecology. The number of hospitalizations and deaths that endemic COVID-19 causes could depend on several factors, including how often people are reinfected, vaccine effectiveness and adoption, and virus mutations.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
May 3, 2021 - Health

There's not just one kind of vaccine hesitancy

Expand chart
Data: The Harris Poll; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Around 10% of Americans aren't very eager to get the vaccine, but they're not really hesitant either — they're just waiting to get it until they get around to it, according to new Harris polling.

Why it matters: Making vaccination more convenient will be a big part of the difficult process of getting more shots in arms, now that many of the most eager Americans have gotten their shots.

Pfizer to offer smaller shipments of COVID vaccine

Pfizer is preparing distribution with the federal government for a smaller 3-tray, 25-vial pack size for COVID-19 vaccines. Photo: by Patrick Pleul-picture alliance/Getty Images

Pfizer will begin distributing smaller packages of COVID-19 vaccine to states by the end of May to reduce potential waste.

Why it matters: As public demand for vaccine teeters, health officials see smaller clinical settings as the next step in vaccinating Americans who haven’t sought out a shot already.