16-year-old girl holds up COVID-19 vaccine sticker

As officials hope to reduce coronavirus cases and reopen schools in the fall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds by next week. Pfizer confirmed last month that its shot protects the younger age group from coronavirus.

What comes next? After the FDA’s approval, a federal vaccine advisory committee would meet to discuss whether to recommend the shots for teens. Shots would begin after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adopts the committee’s recommendation.

A U.S. study on the use of Moderna’s vaccine in teens ages 12 to 17 is expected by the middle of the year. The FDA has allowed both Moderna and Pfizer to begin U.S. studies in children 11 and younger.

Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one offered to 16- and 17-year-olds in the U.S. Officials in Alachua County are offering it to older teens at several walk-up vaccine clinics in Gainesville this week.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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