The Food and Drug Administration is close to authorizing Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for 12-to-15-year-olds.
The news coming on the same day the state reached a milestone with more than 50 percent of Michiganders having gotten their first dose.
“We have proven efficacy of the vaccine against the disease,” said Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Nicholas Haddad.
Now that vaccines have proven to be effective in people ages 16 and older, Pfizer is ready to move to its next target group 12 to 15-year-olds. The food and Drug Administration is set to authorize the vaccine for this group early next week.
“The extension to a new age group would provide more immunity within the U.S. population,” Haddad said.
Dr. Haddad said few cases have been seen in people under the age of 16 and their symptoms are typically mild. But he said vaccinating them will have a ripple effect.
“It would significantly reduce the risk through their older adults in the household, it would reduce the transmission to other kids who may be vulnerable to the disease,” Haddad said.
According to Pfizer, a clinical trial involving more than 2,200 12 to 15-year-olds showed the vaccine's efficacy to be 100 percent.
Haddad said vaccinating this subgroup would also protect those who are unwilling to get vaccinated. Bringing the country closer to herd immunity.
“It’s definitely a very promising step because herd immunity is achieved when most of the population is vaccinated,” Haddad said.
Getting 70 percent to 90 percent of the population vaccinated is the goal.
“This is the one way out of this tragic pandemic,” Haddad said.