Pfizer headquarters in St. Louis

A COVID-19 vaccine for children could speed efforts to reopen schools normally, but the available shots are so far only authorized for adults.

Pfizer on Wednesday announced early results from a study showing its vaccine is safe for people as young as 12. Among 2,260 volunteers, ages 12 to 15, no COVID-19 cases appeared among the fully vaccinated.

The company will submit results to the Food and Drug Administration ahead of the coming school year. Children are far less likely to become seriously sick from COVID-19, but 268 have died in the United States from the virus and more than 13,500 were hospitalized.

How are infection trends looking? The weekly average of COVID-19 cases in the United States is starting to rise again, at 61,000 new cases per day. That’s about the same as the peak last summer, but still far below the heights seen in January.

Last week, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey lifted remaining pandemic restrictions for his state. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced an immediate end to the state’s mask mandate on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Gov. Tony Evers’ face covering order.

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

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