FDA authorization of Pfizer vaccine for 12-to-15-year-olds expected next week

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ByKate Larsen KGO logo
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
FDA authorization of Pfizer vaccine for teens expected next week
The FDA is set to expand the emergency authorization for Pfizer's vaccine to include children as young as 12 years old.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The FDA is set to expand the emergency authorization for Pfizer's vaccine to include children as young as 12 years old.

A source told ABC7 news reporter, Kate Larsen, that the authorization for 12-to-15-year-olds is expected next week. It's a step that brings hope for a safer summer and school year.

But not everyone is so sure, like 14-year-old Novato resident, Nico Binzari, who does not plan to be first among his friends to get the vaccine. "I would personally wait it out, see what other people, any reactions they've been getting."

RELATED: When 12 to 15-year-olds could get COVID-19 vaccine in US

Binzari says he is already back to wrestling and playing football, but did indicate one thing that could push him closer to getting a vaccine.

"These masks tend to get annoying," he said.

Binzari said they'd be more likely to get the vaccine if it meant not having to wear a mask as much.

"If I was 14, I would get it," said Binzari's father, Shane Ford, who is leaving it up to his son to make his own decision.

RELATED: Stanford launches pediatric vaccine trial that will include children as young as 6 months

Ford is vaccinated himself. As a parent, he would like more information.

"I know in his age group it's very unlikely that they even notice the symptoms of COVID, so I'd like to see what the studies show, and obviously the risks are the most important thing," said Ford.

"They're mostly focused on trying to make sure these things are going to be safe for kids," said David Magnus, a Stanford professor of pediatrics.

RELATED: How to speak to someone who's hesitant to get COVID vaccine

He expects the dosing regimen to change.

"Given both children's size and the history of what we know about potential side effects, there would be care taken in clinical trials and dosing regimens to start at lower doses," said Magnus. "To make sure that this is as safe as possible before moving on to think about the markers that would be associated with efficacy."

RELATED: Pfizer asks FDA to expand use of COVID vaccine to teens ages 12-15

Magnus is also the director of Stanford's Center for Biomedical Ethics and says the U.S. should give up more of its vaccine supply to other countries before vaccinating children, who tend to be low-risk for severe COVID infections.

"Even though it's understandable that parents want their kids to be vaccinated as soon as possible and even though there are significant public health benefits to doing so, given the crisis in South America and India, both out of self interest as well as humanitarian reasons," said Magnus. "We really ought to be focusing more right now on international relief efforts to really get vaccine to where it's most needed, which is not right now in the U.S."

See more info on the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics here.

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