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The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now available for ages 12 and older. Click here to schedule an appointment.

 

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Adolescents are now able to get a vaccine, and the vaccines are being studied in younger children.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 to 15.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine authorized for those who are under the age of 18. Here’s what parents and guardians need to know about the vaccine for this age group.

The COVID-19 vaccines are being studied in younger children.

Pfizer is testing vaccines in children ages 6 months old to 11 years old. Moderna began testing its vaccine in 12- to 17-year-olds in December and is also testing in children ages 6 months to 11 years old. Johnson & Johnson also plans to study its vaccine in children, infants and newborns. In addition, Novavax is conducting a clinical trial of their COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents, 12-17 years of age. This is an expansion of its current clinical trial for adults underway in the U.S., for which UNC is a trial site.

Many hope to begin vaccinations in children before next school year. But clinical research studies take time, so it may be several months before we will know if and when children younger than age 12 can receive the vaccines. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will have to decide when there’s enough data to allow emergency use in this age group. Emergency use authorization is designed to make medicines, including vaccines, available during public health emergencies.

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