New Delhi : “The light at the end of the tunnel is growing, and today it got a little brighter,” said President Joe Biden on Monday (May 10, 2021) after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand the Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents.
This, in particular, is the first COVID-19 vaccine licensed in the US for ages 12-15.
Biden has called on states to make the vaccine available to younger teens immediately, saying, “This is a promising advance in our fight against the virus.”
“If you are a parent who wants to protect your child or a teenager who is interested in getting vaccinated, today’s decision is one more step toward that goal,” added the President of the United States.
Biden also claimed that millions of 16- and 17-year-olds have been safely vaccinated and, as more and more Americans get vaccinated, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to decline.
“Safe and effective vaccines are slowing the spread of the virus, saving thousands of lives and allowing millions of Americans to begin returning to lives closer to normal,” he said.
Peter Marks, director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biological Evaluation and Research, told Reuters that states will likely be able to begin vaccinating children ages 12 to 15 after an advisory committee from the US Food and Drug Administration. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers expansion on Wednesday.
Pfizer’s vaccine is the only one licensed for 16- and 17-year-olds in the United States, and about 2 million people in that age group have received at least one injection so far.
Meanwhile, Pfizer has said it expects to have safety and efficacy data on the vaccine for children ages 2 to 11 in September when it plans to apply for that age group to be included in the emergency authorization.
The United States is the country hardest hit by the coronavirus in the world and has recorded more than 3.27 million rupees of infections, including 5.81 million deaths.