Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH explains the COVID vaccines that are available for kids 12 and older.
So, there’s three vaccines that are currently authorized to help prevent COVID. One, the Pfizer vaccine goes down to kids as young as 12. So, if you’re age 12 or above, you are authorized to receive the Pfizer vaccine. The other two vaccines Moderna and Johnson and Johnson remain available for individuals who are age 18 and above. We anticipate that come this fall, Moderna will be authorized for kids down to age 12 as well.
Like other drugs, vaccines can only be authorized for the ages for which they’ve been tested. And so, for Pfizer it’s been tested and authorized to be safe and effective for kids down to age 12. That’s why they can get the Pfizer vaccine.
The other thing I think that’s important for people to understand is the early clinical trials focused intensely on adults because the adult population seem to be more affected, meaning they were more likely to have more severe illness if they became infected with COVID. And so that’s why the early clinical trials focused on the adult population. But we knew it would be important for kids to also have access to the vaccines and so as soon as we knew they were safe for adults, trials began for kids.