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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

About 17 million teens aged 12 to 15 will be now eligible for the Pfizer COVID vaccine in the coming days — if health officials can get parents on board.

By the numbers: Parents are split nearly 50-50 on whether they will allow their children to get vaccinated as soon as possible, according to Axios/Ipsos data.

Why it matters: "We will need parent buy-in," said Donna Hallas, a pediatric nurse practitioner and director of the pediatric nurse practitioner program at the NYU College of Nursing. "If they’re hesitant people or refusers for previous vaccines, this is a really tough job that health care providers need to address."

The state of play: Teen eligibility could help bolster overall vaccination rates, especially as vaccinations slow in some parts of the country, a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis shows.

  • Adolescents account for 5.3% of the U.S. population.
  • Some states, businesses and school districts see the younger population as a way to meet the thresholds for reopening.

Yes, but: Experts hope that as more parents see the children of their friends and family get vaccinated, their hesitancy may shift — just as it did with some adults when the vaccine first became available.

Editor's note: This piece was corrected to show Donna Hallas is a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Go deeper

FDA authorizes Pfizer COVID vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12- to 15-year-old adolescents, the agency announced on Monday.

Why it matters: The emergency authorization marks a critical milestone in the push to get more Americans vaccinated and fully reopen schools for in-person learning this fall.

May 11, 2021 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: 'Normal' is in sight

Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Note: 3.2% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

For the first time since the pandemic began, less than half of Americans (43%) say returning to their "normal" pre-coronavirus lives would pose a large or moderate risk, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: This tipping point comes as nearly two thirds of respondents in our weekly national poll say they've gotten at least one shot.

May 11, 2021 - Health

There's a frenzy for summer school, but it may not be enough

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Kids across the country have fallen behind after more than a year of interrupted, unstable and inequitable virtual school. And they'll need to go to summer school to catch up.

Yes, but: It's not that easy. Kids are demoralized, teachers are exhausted, and it'll take more than one summer to fix the pandemic's damage.