Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said on ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday he’s hopeful the US Food and Drug Administration will greenlight Covid-19 vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds and it will be important to start vaccinating high school-age people well in advance of the fall.
The FDA will likely authorize Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 by early next week, a federal official told CNN this week.
“Obviously, this is going to be really important for the fall. High school kids in particular are known to be just about as susceptible and just about as good at passing along this virus as other young adults,” Collins said. “It will be really great to be able then to get that immunization schedule going well in advance of September, so I’m certainly hopeful FDA, when they look at all the data, will judge this to be safe and effective and will give a green light.”
Vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday the US needs to reach 80% herd or community immunity, or the nation could be in store for another surge in the coronavirus pandemic this winter.
To parents who were uncertain about getting their kids vaccinated, Collins said Wednesday that they should look at the data and see that the mRNA vaccines, such as the one made by Pfizer, are remarkably safe and effective.
“I think parents, yeah, get informed, look at the information, make a decision – probably your teenager wants to be part of that decision,” he said. “And I think the evidence will lead you in the direction of saying yeah, let’s get immunization out there, let’s get this behind us.”