CDC recommends Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for youth ages 12 to 15

By Regence
May 13, 2021
youth vaccine

Pfizer’s vaccine already authorized for ages 16 and over

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday recommended children ages 12 to 15 be vaccinated against COVID-19, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer’s vaccine already was authorized for youth as young as 16, the only vaccine currently available to those younger than 18. Moderna’s vaccine is still being studied in those ages 12 to 17, with findings expected in a few weeks.

The CDC recommendation opens up vaccination to about 17 million adolescents in the U.S. effective immediately.

A clinical trial of 2,260 youth ages 12 to 15 showed the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was safe, with side effects such as fever appearing slightly more than those seen in people ages 16 to 25. More importantly, the vaccine was very effective in preventing illness, with no cases of symptomatic illness among those who received it.

“This is another great step toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States,” said Dr. Drew Oliveira, senior executive medical director at Regence. “Parents now have an important way to protect their children and their families from this disease, and it helps open up opportunities for kids to get back to regular activities safely, including school in the fall.”

For those who have children younger than 12, more information is expected in the summer and fall, as Pfizer and Moderna continue to study the safety and effectiveness of their vaccines in those populations.

Regence encourages vaccination against COVID-19 for those of any age who are eligible. We understand you still might have questions about everything from why to get vaccinated to where you can get a shot. For more information, we encourage you to visit our COVID-19 information page on, or read more on our Regence news blog.