CDC signs off on Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15

The CDC director adopted recommendations from an advisory panel on Wednesday to clear the way for vaccinations to begin in people aged 12-15.

Significance: The highly anticipated decision is a key step toward ensuring middle and high schools can operate for full in-person learning in the fall — and a major boon to parents concerned about the safety of summer activities.

While health officials and experts have argued that schools are safe and should have opened for in-person teaching months ago, the vaccines for younger kids adds another layer of protection and peace of mind.

Giving vaccines to adolescents is a big step to help raise the overall level of immunity in the country, and the authorization will make millions more people eligible for a vaccine. Getting more people vaccinated will lower the numbers of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

There are almost 17 million adolescents in the 12- to 15-year-old age group in the United States, accounting for about 5.3 percent of the U.S. population and almost 27 percent of the population younger than 16, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.