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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.

Go deeper

Aug 25, 2021 - Health

Pentagon orders troops to get COVID-19 vaccine immediately

A U.S. Air Force sergeant receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Osan Air Base in Dec. 2020 in South Korea. Photo: United States Forces Korea via Getty Images

The Pentagon on Wednesday ordered military troops to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, according to a memo from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin obtained by AP.

Why it matters: Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said Wednesday that "on the active duty force, 68% is fully vaccinated, and we estimate just over 76% have at least one dose."

Aug 26, 2021 - Health

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bans COVID vaccine mandates

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during a June briefing in Weslaco, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates by any Texas government entity and urged state lawmakers to pass it into law during the ongoing special session.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as Texas grapples with a massive surge in coronavirus cases and as the state reported the most COVID hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

Delta Air Lines to add monthly health insurance charge for unvaccinated workers

Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Delta Air Lines will impose a monthly $200 surcharge on unvaccinated employees enrolled in the company's health care plan, CEO Ed Bastian announced in a memo Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move makes Delta the first major U.S. company to impose a monetary penalty on workers who choose to remain unvaccinated, according to Bloomberg.