MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in kids ages 12 to 15, but there are still a few hoops left to jump through before children can line up for their shots.
The FDA says Pfizer’s vaccine was “completely effective” at preventing COVID-19 illness in kids ages 12-15 during its trial.
“No cases of COVID-19 occurred among 1,005 adolescents who recieved the vaccine, compared to 16 cases in 978 placebo recipients,” Dr. Peter Marks with the FDA said on Tuesday.
The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meets on Wednesday. The committee is next up to give the final ‘O.K.’ before the vaccine can be administered to young teens.
Montgomery County health officials say they’re ready to start vaccinating 12 to 15-year-old children as early as Thursday if the committee grants approval on Wednesday.
“They will be able to utilize any of the county sites where we have vaccinations in place, where Pfizer is being distributed, or any other sites across the state where Pfizer is being distributed,” Montgomery County’s Chief Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles said during a briefing Tuesday morning.
COVID-19 vaccinations in children have also brought up questions surrounding parental consent and approval.
“The guidance we’ve received so far is that parents will need to be present with their child when getting the vaccine to do an age assessment for the child as well as to sign consent on-site for them,” said Dr. Gayles.