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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12-to 15-year-olds, following the FDA's emergency use authorization.

Why it matters: Approval from the CDC panel was the final step needed before inoculations could be offered at any vaccination site for this age group.

  • Pfizer has said its vaccine is 100% effective at protecting against COVID-19 in a trial of more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

What they're saying: "Today, I adopted CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' (ACIP) recommendation that endorsed the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and its use in 12- through 15-year-old adolescents," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

  • "This official CDC action opens vaccination to approximately 17 million adolescents in the United States and strengthens our nation’s efforts to protect even more people from the effects of COVID-19."
  • "Getting adolescents vaccinated means their faster return to social activities and can provide parents and caregivers peace of mind knowing their family is protected."

Go deeper

Aug 20, 2021 - Health

NYPD: Unvaccinated officers must wear masks or face discipline

Photo: Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

Unvaccinated officers at the New York Police Department will be required to wear masks on duty or face disciplinary action, the department confirmed Friday.

Why it matters: Public and private entities are increasingly considering reinstating mask mandates amid a surge in Delta cases. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last month that all city employees, including law enforcement, must get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.

Updated Aug 19, 2021 - Health

Multiple senators test positive with breakthrough COVID-19 infections

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Angus King (I-Maine) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) have tested positive for breakthrough cases of COVID-19, their offices said Thursday.

The big picture: At least four vaccinated senators have tested positive in August, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who announced his breakthrough positive test result earlier this month.

Aug 20, 2021 - Health

Philadelphia archdiocese rejects religious exemptions to COVID vaccine mandates

Vials of vaccines. Photo: Tunahan Turhan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia became the latest district of the Catholic Church to reject religious exemptions to COVID vaccine mandates, the Washington Post reports on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's another sign of the fracture within the church when it comes to vaccination. Though the Vatican says getting the vaccine is "morally acceptable," some bishops have argued that vaccination is not a moral obligation and must be voluntary.