The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has now expanded to include young adolescents among those eligible to receive Pfizer's two-dose shot. This expanded authorization comes as mask mandates across the country are lifting.
Adding younger teens means an additional 17-million sleeves can be rolled up to receive a shot as the U.S. pushes forward with the largest mass vaccination program in history. But, even if vaccinations mean life can go 'back to normal,' many parents are concerned over potential side effects and long-term impacts of the vaccine. Others, however, are rushing to vaccinate ahead of summer camps. Every parent wonders: when will a vaccine be available for even younger kids? Some parents have even considered enrolling their young children in clinical trials for an earlier shot at a dose.
Joining us this week is Paul A. Offit, MD, director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He's also a member of the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), the impartial group of experts that has been responsible for giving the greenlight for emergency use authorization.