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CDC Advisers Say Pfizer Is Good for Kids 12 and Up

In study, none who had shots got COVID and side effects were similar to those of adults
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2021 3:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – US health advisers endorsed use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in kids as young as 12 on Wednesday The sprint to vaccinate millions of middle and high school students has already started in parts of the country, as a long line of kids rolled up their sleeves in suburban Atlanta for a first dose Wednesday. But much of the nation was awaiting recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Pfizer's vaccine, already used for months in those 16 and older, was a good choice for 12- to 15-year-olds, too. The CDC was expected to accept its advisers' recommendation. And while the CDC until now has recommended not getting other vaccinations within two weeks of a COVID-19 shot, mostly as a precaution. It changed that advice on Wednesday, noting the safety of the vaccines, reports the AP.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics on Wednesday also endorsed the Pfizer vaccine for the 12-and-up crowd—and agreed that it's fine to give more than one vaccine at the same time, especially for kids who are behind on their regular vaccinations. In the Pfizer study of more than 2,000 12- to 15-year-olds, there were no cases of COVID-19 among volunteers given the two-shot vaccination compared with 16 in the group given dummy shots. Side effects were the same as adults experience. Moderna is also seeking to lower the age limit for its vaccine, saying preliminary results from its study in 12- to 17-year-olds show strong protection and no serious side effects. Both companies have begun tests in youngsters ages 6 months to 11 years. Those studies explore if different doses are needed at the youngest ages. The FDA plans to hold a public meeting next month to debate exactly what evidence is needed.

(Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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