Covid Shots Cleared for Younger US Teens

Yesterday’s US FDA okay for vaccinating the nation’s ~17 million young teens with the Pfizer shot raises 2 big question: 

  • Will parents buy in? 
  • What about global vaccine equity?

Pfizer’s Phase 3 clinical trial results of 2,200+ 12- to 15-year-old participants showed 100% efficacy in preventing the illness, NBC reports.

If a CDC advisory committee scheduled to meet tomorrow endorses the FDA decision, vaccinations could proceed immediately, according to The New York Times.

But: Many parents—including some who got vaccinated  themselves—are reluctant to get their kids immunized because the perceived risk to the age group is lower.
 
Risk / Benefit: Teens’ risk of getting Covid isn’t zero, counters Megan Ranney, a Rhode Island emergency room physician, “And the risk of them getting sick or hospitalized or worse with Covid or with the post-Covid multi-inflammatory syndrome is higher than the risk of something bad from this vaccine.” 
 
Plus: 
Vaccinating teens shields others in a community (including the most vulnerable). This population may prove key to helping block the virus from continuing to spread and mutate further given the large percentage of US adults refusing the vaccine.
 
Global take: The move doesn’t sit well from a global vaccine equity perspective, though. McGill’s Madhu Pai sums it up well on Twitter: “A tale of 2 continents: One has vaccines approved for kids (12+) Another is yet to vaccinate health workers. #VaccineForAll #VaccineEquity”

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