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Pfizer vaccine approved for children ages 12-15

The FDA and CDC says adolescents across the US can now get the COVID-19 shot.

Syringe and gloved hand
Pfizer's two-dose vaccine has been approved for adolescents.
Sarah Tew/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine received final approval Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in children ages 12 to 15. This followed a CDC advisory committee voting in favor earlier that day after the move by the Food and Drug Administration on Monday to give emergency use authorization for distribution to children ages 12 to 15.

"CDC now recommends that this vaccine be used among this population, and providers may begin vaccinating them right away," Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, said in a statement Wednesday. "Though most children with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, some children can get severely ill and require hospitalization. There have also been rare, tragic cases of children dying from COVID-19 and its effects, including multisystem inflammatory syndrome."

Read more: Vaccinated people don't need masks indoors, says CDC

Most states waited for the CDC's go-ahead to start vaccinating the new age group. Now that approval has come, 12- to 15-year-olds across the entire US can start getting vaccinated immediately.

Pfizer asked for emergency use authorization among children in early April, after finding in its own study that the vaccine was 100% effective among 12- to 15-year-olds.

As of May 12, the US has fully vaccinated more than 117.6 million people, or nearly 36% of the population, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Biden last week announced a plan for 70% of adults in the US to have at least their first COVID-19 shot by July 4.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.