Pfizer COVID vaccine authorized for kids

More children may soon be eligible to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA has expanded its emergency authorization to include 12-to-15-year-olds.

Right now, teens 16 and up are eligible to get a shot. Health experts say adding the 12-15 age group is a critical step in fighting COVID-19.

People are concerned and they’re also anxious about getting more shots into arms to help end the pandemic.

"They’re anxious to get the protection, but they want to make sure that it’s safe," said Dr. LuAnn Moraski with Thrive Med.

The FDA has given authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15.

Dr. Moraski is a Mequon pediatrician.

(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

"It means safer middle schools," she said. "It means safer return to school and a safer return to normal activities."

A clinical trial including more than 2,000 kids showed the vaccine is well-tolerated and found to be 100% effective.

"You really don’t get much better as far as safety and efficacy in a vaccine," said Dr. Jeff Pothof, UW Health.

CDC approval could come as soon as this week. It would make another 17 million people eligible for the vaccine.

"If we really want to close the door on covid-19 and talk about it in the past tense, we really want to get a lot of people vaccinated," said Dr. Pothof.

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The Pfizer vaccine would likely be administered in two doses. Studies showed side effects to be similar with those adults getting the shot.

Dr. Pothof said it is unlikely to have any long-term effects.

 (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

"The material that gets injected is going to be gone in a couple of days," said Dr. Pothof. "Your immune response is going to make a response or it isn’t."

As vaccines become more widely available, it brings us one step closer to normalcy.

"We want summer baseball, and we want to go to camp, and we want to be back in school and this is a critical part of that," said Moraski.

FDA approval for kids younger than 12 could come this fall. Physicians say it is important, of course, to talk with your child's doctor about getting the vaccine.