As the age indication for COVID vaccines is lowered to 12 years, that means more and more teens will be able to get vaccinated and protected.
At least if they are getting a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, as the age indication for this vaccine has been lowered by the FDA and the ACIP has voted to recommend it’s use.
COVID Vaccines for Teens
For parents looking for advice on what to do next, they can make this decision knowing that the currently authorized Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective and while COVID is no where near as serious as it is for older adults, it also isn’t something to ignore.
Considering risks vs benefits, the decision should clearly be in favor of getting your kids vaccinated and protected.
“The AAP recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all children and adolescents 12 years of age and older who do not have contraindications using a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use for their age.”COVID-19 Vaccines in Children and Adolescents
Of course, only the Pfizer COVID vaccine has been authorized for younger teens so far, and that’s the one with the cold storage requirements, which makes it less likely that your pediatrician will have it in their office. All that means though is that you might have to look around for a dose.
The Moderna and Janssen COVID vaccines are still only authorized for teens who are at least 18 years old.
What about kids under age 12 years?
Clinical studies are continuing for younger age groups and will likely be done by fall.
“During the meeting the agency will provide a status update on our approach to emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines intended for use in individuals 12 through 17 years of age. The committee will also discuss the data needed to support an EUA and a biologics license application (BLA) for a COVID-19 vaccine intended for use in children less than 12 years of age. The committee will not discuss any specific products.”FDA In Brief: FDA to Hold Meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee to Discuss Pediatric Use of COVID-19 Vaccines
We will learn more about how and when the COVID vaccines might get authorized for younger kids this summer.
On June 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) will convene a virtual meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) and they will discuss the authorization process for younger age groups.
Questions About COVID Vaccines for Teens
Some other things that parents will likely want to know about COVID vaccines for their teen include that:
- the Pfizer COVID vaccine is given to teens on a two dose series, separated by three weeks, but the second dose is technically not considered late until after six weeks, and even after that, should still be given
- if your child recently had a natural COVID infection and a history of MIS-C, then they might wait for 90 days before getting a COVID vaccine
- there are few contraindications to getting the Pfizer COVID vaccine, but they do include having a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose or to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine or an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose or known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of the vaccine
- parents can sign their teens up for v-safe so that they can tell CDC about any side effects they are having after they are vaccinated
What other questions do you have before you get your kids vaccinated and protected?
More on COVID Vaccines for Children
- COVID-19 Vaccination Questions and Answers
- COVID Vaccines for Children Should Get Emergency Use Authorization
- When Will New COVID-19 Vaccines Be Approved for Kids?
- Kids and Young Adults Should Get a COVID-19 Vaccine
- COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Update
- Infertility and COVID Vaccines
- The Truth About COVID-19 Vaccines
- I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in the COVID-19 Vaccine
- American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for Children and Teens Age 12 and Up to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
- AAP – COVID-19 Vaccines in Children and Adolescents
- CDC – CDC Director Statement on Pfizer’s Use of COVID-19 Vaccine in Adolescents Age 12 and Older
- Virtual Press Conference: COVID-19 Vaccine for Adolescents – 5/10/2021
- FDA – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Adolescents in Another Important Action in Fight Against Pandemic
- FDA – Pfizer COVID Vaccine Fact Sheets for Healthcare Providers Administering the Vaccine
- FDA – Pfizer COVID Vaccine Fact Sheets for Recipients and Caregivers
- FDA In Brief: FDA to Hold Meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee to Discuss Pediatric Use of COVID-19 Vaccines
- Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE): Pfizer-BioNTechCOVID-19 Vaccine
- EtR Framework: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12-15 years
- Clinical Considerations for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19Vaccination in Adolescents
- Pfizer COVID vaccine authorized for use in 12-15-year-olds
- Should COVID-19 vaccines be administered to children under an emergency use authorization?
- Vaccinating Children Against Covid-19