The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15 Monday.
The expansion “is a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic” and brings “us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy,” FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a prepared statement.
The move comes after Pfizer, which was the only vaccine authorized for use on teens ages 16-18, released preliminary vaccine study results in March from 2,260 volunteers ages 12-15 that found no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated teens.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal vaccine advisory committee is set to meet Wednesday to discuss the Pfizer vaccine’s expansion, and once approved by the committee, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which includes California, is set to do its own review, allowing 12- to 15-year-olds to start getting shots as early as later this week.
About 56% of eligible Santa Clarita Valley residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health data through May 2.
In the city of Santa Clarita alone, more than 103,000, or 58.6% of residents, have received at least one dose.
As of May 5, more than 8.3 million total doses of the vaccine had been administered in L.A. County, 3.2 million of which were reportedly second doses.
Approximately 4.8 million eligible county residents over 16 years old, or 58.2%, have reportedly received at least one dose, while 82.4% of seniors over the age of 65 have been vaccinated.
“These are really impressive numbers … but we have more work to do if we want to really contain the spread of this virus,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “There are still over 3 million eligible residents across the county of Los Angeles that have yet to be vaccinated, and that number will only grow as younger people are cleared for the vaccine.”