The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization to allow the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in teens as young as 12.
The two-dose vaccine had been authorized for those as young as 16. After clinical trials and research in those age 12 to 15, the pharmaceutical company asked the FDA to expand their emergency use authorization to allow the vaccine to be used in younger teens.
Monday morning the agency granted the request.
“Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic," said said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D.
Adolescents between 12 and 15 will receive the Pfizer two-dose COVID-19 vaccine the same way those 16 and older do now; the shots will be given three weeks apart with the same dosage.
The study included more than 2,200 participants ages 12 to 15. Common side effects were similar to adults, with pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain.
11 of the 13 mass vaccination sites in Maryland will be offering the Pfizer vaccine to kids ages 12 and older, as well as hundreds of pharmacies. The state also updated its search function on its COVID-19 website to specifically search for sites that are giving shots to kids 12 and older. To find a site near you, click here.