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COVID-19 Vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds
On May 10, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for use in adolescents ages 12-15. On May 14, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued an interim recommendation in support of the EUA for the prevention of COVID-19 in adolescents ages 12-15.
Additionally, CDC recently announced that fully vaccinated people, including adolescents, no longer need to wear masks in most situations. These announcements come as many families are looking forward to summer plans, including camp, youth sports, and travel. Authorization also comes as young people make up a rising proportion of new coronavirus cases in the United States.
Vaccinating adolescents is an important step toward stopping the spread of COVID-19. Yet adolescent vaccination has been met with mixed reactions, with some parents eager to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 and others expressing hesitancy. Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine was found to be safe and effective in 12- to 15-year-olds in clinical trial. Side effects were generally consistent with those experienced by people ages 16-25. Side effects are normal signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of many people, including adolescents. But as more people become eligible for vaccination, we have reason to be hopeful. In addition to preventing severe illness, COVID-19 vaccines will help adolescents safely return to doing the things they love – whether that’s school, sports, and other extracurricular activities, or socializing with friends. If you or someone you know is considering adolescent COVID-19 vaccination, talk with your pediatrician or family physician about the benefits of vaccination. CDC also has resources on credible vaccine information, and support for teens and young adults facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent updates for people who are fully vaccinated
We are regularly monitoring new data as it comes in and reviewing the science to inform our guidance and decision-making. Based on the latest science, we can say that anyone who is fully vaccinated can resume activities – indoor or outdoor – safely without a mask or physical distancing.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated:
What you should keep doing: