In case you missed it amidst the mask discourse: Pfizer was already the “vaccine for cool people,” but this week, it formally became the vaccine for teens. The FDA announced on Monday that it was expanding the Emergency Use Authorization for this vaccine to include children ages 12 to 15, and the CDC followed this up with an official recommendation on Wednesday.
As Sarah Braner reported when the Pfizer adolescent trial results were released: “In the trial, no participants who received the vaccine contracted symptomatic COVID-19 out of a total of 2,260 participants, marking an efficacy rate of 100%.” So, this formal endorsement was a pretty foregone conclusion, but it’s still good news for the 17 million children ages 12 to 15 in the country.
Here are a couple more statistics about the 12-15 age group, via the Kaiser Family Foundation:
- This group accounts for 5% of the U.S. population and 27% of the population under age 16.
- Nearly half of children in this age group are people of color, including: 25% are Hispanic, 13% are Black, and 5% are Asian.
- 36% of children in this age group live in a family with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
And speaking of adolescent data: on Friday, the CDC diversified its vaccine tracker. In addition to state-by-state views of vaccination coverage for the overall population, adult population, and senior population, the Tracker will now show you vaccination coverage for each state’s population over age 12. Nationwide, 56% of this group has had at least one dose and 44% is fully vaccinated.
The Vaccinations County View page will show you coverage over age 12 by county, but these data aren’t yet available for easy download in the Community Profile Reports.
The CDC’s demographic vaccination data, meanwhile, groups adolescents in with (already eligible) 16 to 18-year olds in an under 18 category—so we aren’t yet able to see precisely how many children in this age group are getting vaccinated. This may become a concerning data gap as schools may seek to use 12-15 vaccination rates as an indicator for reopening next fall.
More vaccine coverage
- Sources and updates, September 17Sources and updates for the week of September 17 include public comments to the CDC about infection controls, nasal spray recommendations, wastewater surveillance for flu, and more.
- New COVID-19 vaccines are now available: 10 key facts and statistics about these shotsWe now have two new COVID-19 vaccines available for this year’s respiratory virus season, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna, which are expected to perform well against current variants. The FDA approved both vaccines this week, and the CDC recommended them for almost all Americans. A third option, from Novavax, may become available in the coming weeks as well.
- Answering reader questions: Incubation period, vaccines coming this fall, nasal spraysI received a couple of reader questions in recent weeks that I’d like to answer here, in the hopes that my responses will be more broadly helpful. The questions cover COVID-19’s incubation period (i.e. time between exposure and symptoms), vaccine effectiveness for this fall, and nasal sprays.
- Sources and updates, August 20Sources and updates for the week of August 20 include a wastewater data toolkit, vaccine delays, budget cuts at the CDC, and more.