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Young teens may be able to get vaccinated "shortly"

Pfizer says they expect authorization from the FDA to allow vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds sooner rather than later.

NORFOLK, Va. — In a May 4 call to investors, pharmaceutical company Pfizer said they expect to hear back shortly from the FDA on Emergency Use Authorization to expand its vaccine to 12–15-year olds. 

"It's wonderful, it's wonderful because the closer we can get to everyone immune the more likelihood we can get back to normal," said CHKD pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Laura Sass. 

She added the only reason it took this long is they had to get the adults out of the way first. 

"When we do clinical trials, they're generally in the adult population first. They didn't start trials for adolescents until after those were in progress. So, although it seems longer it's actually been quite fast because they were able to build upon those adult studies," she said.

Tim Smith is the site manager at the FEMA clinic at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk. He said while they waited on those trials, they had to turn away some in the 12-15 age group.

"We've had a couple that were younger that wanted to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, we're not allowed yet, but we look forward to being able to offer it to them," he said.

When that time does come, Sass expects side effects to be similar to what we've seen so far.

"They should be about the same, same kind of vaccine technology, so the side effects of not feeling well should be very similar. The same thing happens with the flu shot."

She does cite one difference, however.

"The younger you are, those are the ages where you get other vaccines, so you want to make sure that you time it around those vaccines so there's no side effects from that," she said.

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