More people across Virginia are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Virginia Department of Health announced on Wednesday evening that those as young as 12 years old can now receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
This decision follows Wednesday’s approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for those in this age group.
“Generally, adolescents who contract COVID-19 usually do not develop severe symptoms, but they contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Vaccinating adolescents, along with the rest of Virginia’s eligible population, will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and make our communities safer,” said Virginia’s vaccination coordinator Dr. Danny Avula. “Getting this safe, effective vaccine means that these adolescents won’t have to miss school, sporting events or other activities if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19, taking another step toward getting their lives back to normal.”
In the clinical trial with about 2,000 participants aged 12–15, Pfizer’s vaccine was found to be 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 from occurring at least seven days after the second dose. It is typical for a new vaccine to be studied in adults first, and then to gradually include younger age groups.
As of May 6, more than 3.85 million children in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 102,682 cumulative cases in children in Virginia, according to the weekly American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) State-Level Data Report.