While no vaccine is currently approved in the United States for individuals under the age of 16, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve Pfizer’s request to amend the emergency use authorization to include adolescents aged 12 to 15 years according to a senior official with knowledge of the situation as early as next week.
“Today I want American parents to know that when that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately to get about 20,000 pharmacy locations across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents as soon as the FDA grants its approval,” Biden said during comments on the White House Tuesday.
Biden said vaccines would be given directly to pediatricians so that parents could discuss any questions with their primary care physicians and that children could receive injections from people they are trusted and familiar with. Vaccinations would also still be available for children 12 and older at pharmacies and other community centers.
For children who could spend their summer vacations in different parts of the country – expressing concerns about their ability to get second shots in the same locations as the first – Biden said they would have the option of taking the two doses at different vaccination sites. to get.
Pfizer arrived at the beginning of April the FDA asked to extend its emergency use authorization to adolescent ages 12 to 15 after it said its clinical trials showed that vaccine was safe and 100 percent effective for that age category. The FDA approved emergency use for people 16 and older late last year.
When asked Tuesday about the prospect of an FDA decision, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “I cannot anticipate the FDA process.” Biden emphasized in his speech Tuesday that “the FDA, and the FDA alone, will make that decision.”
Biden encouraged parents to bring their children to get vaccinated as soon as injections are available.
“We know that adolescents are at risk for Covid-19. While serious illness is rare in the age bracket, they can still get sick and spread the virus to others. So I hope that if the vaccine is approved, parents will benefit from it.” get their kids vaccinated, ”he said.