Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said that vaccines may be available for children ages 12 to 15 as early as this week.
DeWine’s announcement follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for those ages 12 to 15. The FDA had previously approved the vaccine for those ages 16 and older.
“Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”
The FDA’s decision follows a clinical trial that included more than 2,000 participants ages 12 through 15. It said that any side effects — such as pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain — were consistent with those found in clinical trials with participants age 16 and older.
DeWine said that Ohio would make the vaccine available for those ages 12 to 15 as quickly as possible.
“I am encouraged that the FDA has already updated Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization to include youth ages 12-15. Following a recommendation, as soon as Wednesday, from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the CDC, Ohio will immediately expand vaccine eligibility to youth ages 12-15 and provide appropriate guidance for parents, guardians, and vaccine providers across the state,” DeWine said in a statement. “Vaccinations are our way back to a more normal life.”
More than 4.8 million people in Ohio have received at least the first dose of their vaccine, roughly 41 percent of the population, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health.
Vaccines are currently available to all Ohio residents ages 16 and older.
Find a vaccine provider location here.
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