FDA set to authorize Pfizer for adolescents

Here at home, some teens are already standing in line to receive their first dose.
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - More than 100 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

That’s more than 31% of the U.S. population.

Experts believe 70-85% is needed to reach herd immunity.

Here at home, vaccinations were made available to teens at the St. Jude Church off Lowry.

While it may feel like the U.S. is slowly making its way out of the pandemic, officials say there’s still an ongoing race to vaccinate as many Americans as possible and it includes our youth.

The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to authorize the use of the Pfizer vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years old by early next week.

Here at home, some teens are already standing in line to receive their first dose.

“Well, since we did most of the population being vaccinated already- now we’re seeing the youth- we’re seeing it in the schools- every single day- we are doing contact tracing. So, they are doing student intakes and we’re seeing an increase of it and we know it’s out there with the children, so, we need to protect them.”

Irene Rosales, the UISD health services director, believes it’s key to raise the level of immunity in children for COVID-19 and to bring down the number of hospitalization rates and deaths.

She says it’s not uncommon for one student at least once day to be responsible for up to ten different infections, even if they’re not at the school.

“Sometimes they are extended family in that household. So, you have to take information on all those individuals in that household.... So, we can make a decision when we can bring that child in.”

Sixteen year old Janie Vasquez is excited for the vaccine because she can return to a sense of normalcy that’s been missing for more than twelve months.

“To take the vaccine and be able to like to get back to normal, to where everything like before, and be able to hang out with my friends and to get more chances to be in more public places and be safe.”

More importantly, she is not alone...Other young faces are already showing up at the vaccine drives.

Studies show that young people who contract COVID-19 are enduring specific issues.

“Yes, there are cardiac problems that can be long term... so we have to be careful for those students returning to athletics,” said Rosales.

Currently, none of the adolescents in the clinical trials have show adverse affects.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” said Janie. “I think it’s just something to take for yourself and to go back to normal and all that stuff.”

“Once you get the vaccine, even if you get the booster, don’t you still have to follow all the orders?” said Rosales. “Washing your hands, wearing the face masks, distancing yourself from others.”

With many people clamoring for the vaccines, the Pfizer’s shot use in adolescents could raise questions about whether the supply should be targeted to a specific age group.

More than 100 million adults in the United States have been fully vaccinated, but 44% of adults have reportedly not gotten any dose.

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