The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for youngsters ages 12 to 15 by next week, according to a federal official and a person familiar with the process.
In a press conference Monday night, President Joe Biden took to the stage to urge Americans to get their coronavirus vaccine.
But the gaffe-riddled press conference left viewers more confused than reassured.
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“We’re also going to slip vaccines directly to pediatricians,” Biden said at one point, igniting a firestorm of criticism.
“Why would Biden be ‘slipping’ some vaccines to them? Sounds like there’s something funky when you use that term,” RedState‘s Nick Arama asked.
But that was just the beginning. Biden also couldn’t remember how his own vaccine website ended. “We’re going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated. Visit vaccines dot gum … dot gov … or text …”
Biden: “We’re going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated. Visit vaccines.cum — dot gov, or text …” pic.twitter.com/rzxVlF5RY0
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 4, 2021
Biden also confused the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) for the CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, a Catholic Sunday School) when he told Americans to follow “CCD guidance.”[Sponsored] “90-Year-Old Mitochondria Becoming 30-Years Old”
The FDA is expected to expand its emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine by early next week, and perhaps even sooner. The person familiar with the process, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, confirmed the timeline and added that it is expected that the FDA will approve Pfizer’s use by even younger children sometime this fall.
The FDA action will be followed by a meeting of a federal vaccine advisory committee to discuss whether to recommend the shot for 12- to 15-year-olds. Shots could begin after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adopts the committee’s recommendation. Those steps could be completed in a matter of days.
Pfizer in late March released preliminary results from a vaccine study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15, showing there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared with 18 among those given dummy shots.
Kids had side effects similar to young adults, the company said. The main side effects are pain, fever, chills, and fatigue, particularly after the second dose. The study will continue to track participants for two years for more information about long-term protection and safety.
Pfizer isn’t the only company seeking to lower the age limit for its vaccine. Results also are expected by the middle of this year from a U.S. study of Moderna’s vaccine in 12- to 17-year-olds.
But in a sign that the findings were promising, the FDA already allowed both companies to begin U.S. studies in children 11 and younger, working their way to as young as 6 months old.
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More than 131 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine have already been administered in the U.S., where demand for vaccines among adults has dramatically slowed in recent weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this article