What parents need to know following FDA's authorization of Pfizer vaccine for ages 12-15

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The FDA has authorized the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15. The CDC still has to give its stamp of approval, but if everything goes as expected, we could see more kids in our area getting the Pfizer vaccine as early as Thursday. Some counties have already started.

Many pediatricians are working to help parents feel more comfortable getting their kids immunized.

Dr. Jonathan Miller with Nemours AI duPont hospital for children says he feels confident in the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15.

In the clinical trial, it was 100% effective and showed no serious safety concerns. Plus, he says 10's of millions of people, including down to age 16, have also received the vaccine with no major problems.

"The risk of not getting the vaccine and getting coronavirus has far more both short term and long term effects for both kids and adults than any hypothetical or theoretical reaction associated with the vaccine," said Dr. Miller.

Kids are less likely to suffer serious illness due to COVID-19, but more 3,000 have developed a rare, potentially life-threatening complication and dozens have died. Children can also spread the virus and they have been impacted in so many other ways.

Dr. Miller says getting more people vaccinated is our quickest way to get things back closer to normal. And he isn't just a pediatrician, he's also a father following the advice he's giving.

"I have a 13-year-old and he'll be getting vaccinated as soon as I can get him in the door for it. And I have an 11-year-old who should expect the same when he has his birthday in September," he said.

The CDC's vaccine advisory panel meets Wednesday and will vote whether to recommend the vaccine for this age group. It then goes to full CDC and is expected to get that recommendation.
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