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
- COVID source shout-out: The CDD vaccinations pageSince early January, the COVID-19 Data Dispatch has maintained a page of detailed annotations on all the major sources for vaccination data in the U.S. This includes government sources (the CDC, all 50 states, and D.C.), along with a few notable news publications and independent dashboards. The page is now switching to an every-other-week update schedule from every week.
- Featured sources, June 13Featured sources for the week of June 13 include vaccine distribution by Congressional districts, fiscal accountability for COVID-19 responses, and risk levels for kids.
- 25 million doses is a drop in the global vaccination bucketOn Thursday, the Biden administration made a big (and long-awaited) announcement: the federal government is sending 25 million vaccine doses from America’s stockpile to other countries.25 million doses—or even the 80 million doses that the administration has promised by the end of this month—is a drop in the bucket compared to actual international needs. For example: COVAX needs 1.8 billion doses to vaccinate about half the adult population in low-income countries. COVAX has specifically prioritized 92 low-income nations, representing a total population of 3.8 billion.
- Moderna for the middle childrenGood news for kids hoping for jabs in arms: Moderna has announced promising results for its trial in adolescent-aged children. In around 4,000 adolescents, the vaccine proved to be 94.1% effective in preventing disease. No cases in the vaccinated group were found two weeks after the second shot, while 4 cases were found in the unvaccinated control group.