JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – U.S. regulators on Monday expanded the use of the Pfizer vaccine to children ages 12-15. This can enable millions of teenagers to go back to school, attend camps, overnight stays, and hang out with friends.
14-year-old Jacob Laney said he was vaccinated first thing Tuesday morning so he could live his life with peace of mind.
“My friend got COVID-19 and it didn’t look fun at all because he was always tired and in pain all over the place,” Laney said. “I will be able to visit more places without fear of COVID-19 and I will be able to feel safer everywhere.”
A federal vaccine advisory board has yet to make recommendations for the use of the two-dose vaccine in 12 to 15 year olds. An announcement is expected on Wednesday.
While some 12- to 15-year-olds received Pfizer shots less than a day after the emergency two-dose vaccine approval was issued for that age group, most communities waited for a federal advisory council meeting Wednesday to opt out on the go, Associated Press reports.
″ Children are a reservoir for disease. We will not achieve herd immunity if they are not vaccinated, ”said Dr. Jeffrey Goldhagen, pediatrician at UF Health.
Goldhagen said the vaccine is very safe for young people. He advises that teenagers can experience side effects from taking a double dose.
“It would not be unreasonable to expect them to experience side effects, fever and pain at the sight of the injection. It doesn’t seem to be more important than young adults, ”said Goldhagen.
Goldhagen assumes that younger children will soon also receive the vaccine.
“I assume that children of 6 months of age will have the vaccine available within a few months – maybe not that young, but yes, younger children will have access to the vaccine,” said Goldhagen.
Goldhagen said one of the biggest misconceptions about the new approval of the Pfizer vaccine was that it was new. It’s not a new vaccine itself, the only thing that’s new is the age group eligible to receive it.
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