Virginia’s state-run coronavirus vaccine clinics will begin administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to 12-to-15-year-olds Friday after the vaccine received federal approval for that age group.
The Food and Drug Administration, which granted emergency authorization in December to the two-shot Pfizer vaccine for people 16 and older, amended the authorization Monday to lower the age limit to 12. Two days later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the vaccine for that age group.
Dr. Danny Avula, the state’s vaccination coordinator, said inoculating youths is key to containing the spread of COVID-19, the potentially deadly respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
“Generally, adolescents who contract COVID-19 usually do not develop severe symptoms, but they contribute to the spread of COVID-19,” Avula said in a statement, InsideNoVa.com reported. “Getting this safe, effective vaccine means that these adolescents won’t have to miss school, sporting events or other activities if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19, taking another step toward getting their lives back to normal.”
A Pfizer clinical trial—with 2,000 participants 12 to 15 years old — found that the vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 seven days after the second dose, InsideNoVa.com reported.