FDA to authorize Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for 12-to-15-year-olds by early next week, official says

The US Food and Drug Administration is poised to authorize Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine in children and teens ages 12 to 15 by early next week, a fe...

Posted: May 3, 2021 4:31 PM

The US Food and Drug Administration is poised to authorize Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine in children and teens ages 12 to 15 by early next week, a federal government official tells CNN.

Pfizer has applied for emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine for teens and children ages 12 to 15. The FDA will have to amend the emergency use authorization for the vaccine, but the process should be straightforward, said the official, who was not authorized to speak about the process publicly and requested anonymity.

The FDA is currently reviewing data submitted by Pfizer to support the extended use. Pfizer said at the end of March that a clinical trial involving 2,260 12-to-15-year-olds showed its efficacy is 100% and it is well tolerated. The vaccine is currently authorized in the US for emergency use in people 16 and older.

Before issuing the EUAs for the three authorized coronavirus vaccines, the FDA held meetings of its independent Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee to review the data and vote on whether to recommend EUA. That will not happen in extending EUA to 12-to-15-year-olds, the FDA has told CNN.

"While the FDA cannot predict how long its evaluation of the data and information will take, the agency will review the request as expeditiously as possible using its thorough and science-based approach," the FDA said in an email to CNN last week.

"Based on an initial evaluation of the information submitted, at this time, the agency does not plan to hold a meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on this request to amend the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which was discussed and recommended for authorization at a VRBPAC meeting in December 2020. As with all FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines, we are committed to transparency with this EUA review process."

A US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will schedule a meeting for after any FDA decision to extend the EUA to new age groups. ACIP will advise CDC on whether to recommend use of the vaccine in 12-to-15-year-olds, and then CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky will decide whether the agency will recommend its use in the new age group.

Pfizer and Moderna both are testing their vaccines in children as young as 6 months and expect to ask the FDA for EUAs covering infants and children later this year.

Extending EUA to younger children will be a different matter, the official said.

"In the older group of children if there is nothing exceptional, if everything looks very similar to adults, the feeling is that it is not necessary to take this to an advisory committee meeting," the official said. "For the younger children, we almost certainly will consider more strongly going to an advisory committee meeting."

Maryland-based Novavax, meanwhile, announced Monday it has expanded its Phase 3 trial for its Covid-19 vaccine to include up to 3,000 children ages 12 to 17 across the United States. They will receive the vaccine candidate or placebo in two doses 21 days apart.

Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine is not yet authorized for emergency use in the United States.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 190804

Reported Deaths: 2528
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Multnomah37830583
Washington25279229
Marion21739306
Clackamas17107209
Lane12799145
Jackson10716135
Deschutes866973
Umatilla814084
Linn479867
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Polk369952
Malheur349861
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Union144423
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Morrow110015
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Clatsop9738
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Grant5065
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Harney3378
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Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
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California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3757115

Reported Deaths: 62280
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123542224008
Riverside2990644587
San Bernardino2965144697
San Diego2777593725
Orange2707055005
Santa Clara1188512085
Kern1089931373
Sacramento1041761672
Fresno1016251684
Alameda875851545
Ventura808421011
San Joaquin730091391
Contra Costa68503804
Stanislaus619161055
Tulare49554839
Monterey43563382
San Mateo41844568
San Francisco36616543
Santa Barbara34306453
Solano32752249
Merced31743458
Sonoma29975318
Imperial28352721
Kings22965246
Placer22550290
San Luis Obispo21282260
Madera16439242
Santa Cruz16188206
Marin14034228
Yolo13875209
Shasta12071226
Butte11943199
El Dorado10111112
Napa984981
Sutter9411111
Yuba622146
San Benito604863
Lassen569824
Tehama555358
Nevada470775
Tuolumne412364
Mendocino406149
Humboldt393539
Amador365147
Lake346743
Glenn238125
Colusa223016
Siskiyou218123
Calaveras212153
Inyo142638
Del Norte13678
Mono12804
Plumas7066
Modoc4954
Mariposa4457
Trinity3995
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