DENVER — On Monday, the FDA granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer for its COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to children ages 12 and up.
Before the vaccine can be officially rolled out to qualifying adolescents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization is slated to meet on Wednesday to advise whether to recommend the vaccine to the age group.
In the meantime, state health experts say parents should strongly consider the benefits of vaccinations for children.
"It's not correct to say that it is benign, that it's a benign illness in children. There have been tens of thousands of hospitalizations in the United States, roughly about 600 deaths in children. It's actually in the top ten causes of death for children now," said Dr. Sean O'Leary, a pediatrics professor at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
According to the EUA, the company's clinical trial of 2,260 children showed the vaccine's efficacy is 100% in preventing COVID-19.
O'Leary said vaccinations could also prevent quarantines for children, allowing for a more steady school year in the fall.
"Current guidance is that if you are vaccinated, if you have an exposure but you're vaccinated, you should not need to be quarantined, which is great." O'Leary said.