TAMPA, Fla. - The Food and Drug Administration is expected to meet Wednesday and issue an emergency use authorization for kids ages 12 to 15 to get the two-shot Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
"They're not really adults emotionally and physically, but immunologically they're pretty much adults so it's kind of a low-hanging chance to extend it to that group," said Dr. Tom Unnasch, a professor and infectious disease researcher at the University of South Florida.
He says there is no reason for parents to be concerned about their 12- to 15-year-olds getting the shot.
"From the initial results on the clinical trials, I've seen have had absolutely no side-effects whatsoever, major side-effects. Arm soreness, things like that, they're getting just like everybody else did. No major side-effects and they're immune system apparently is working even better," Dr. Unnasch said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 149 million Americans have gotten at least one dose. That's about 45% of the population. Medical experts say we'd achieve herd immunity when at least 70% of Americans are fully vaccinated. So, opening the shot up for kids younger than 16 would significantly help boost those numbers.