Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society on EUA for Pfizer vaccine in patients ages 12-15

Massachusetts Medical Society on EUA for Pfizer vaccine in patients ages 12-15

The decision today by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents ages 12-15 is a critical step in mitigating transmission of COVID-19 and, ultimately, in ending the pandemic and expediting a safe return to pre-pandemic in-person education and other activities for youth. We look forward to the ACIP’s review and recommendation.

Based on the scientific rigor deployed in trials among this and all age groups and the resultant data and evidence which indicate that the vaccine is well tolerated, safe and effective, the Massachusetts Medical Society urges parents and guardians to strongly consider vaccinating their children and to contact their physicians or health care providers with any questions they may have.

While we are fortunately seeing virus-related data trend in a positive direction in several major metrics, children at present make up more than 20 percent of new cases in the United States. In an overall sense, we know the disease is less severe in children than in adults, but we remain concerned about the potentially serious conditions encountered by children who contract COVID-19, including Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. Vaccinating is especially important for children with co-morbidities or for children who live with adults who are at an increased risk because of co-morbidities.

As our state and federal administrations consider plans for getting the vaccine to adolescents ages 12-15, we must do so through the lens of equity and ensure that children who live in communities most disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are a priority. We must also make every effort to include in the distribution of the vaccine pediatricians and family medicine physicians – health care providers and settings that bring a level of comfort and trust for parents and children who may be hesitant.

-Carole E. Allen, MD, MBA, FAAP, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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