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CDC advisory panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and up

May 12, 2021, 1:26 PM | Updated: May 13, 2021, 8:01 am
pfizer covid-19 vaccine authorized for 12+...
CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 08: A member of staff poses with a phial of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination health centre on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Wales joined the other UK nations in rolling out the covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, a rare moment of coordination after months of disjointedness in the four nations' pandemic response. Wales introduced a 17-day "firebreak" lockdown in October and November to suppress the surge in covid-19 cases, but infections have continued to rise. (Photo by Justin Tallis - Pool / Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Tallis - Pool / Getty Images)

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave its endorsement to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, essentially telling health professionals across the country it considers the vaccine safe for all Americans ages 12+. 

That word came the same day COVID-19 deaths in the United State reached their lowest level in 10 months. 

Kids over 12 and the Pfizer vaccine

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer for 12-15 year old Americans. However, in Utah, many health professionals waited to decide whether to offer doses for young patients until hearing from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP. 

ACIP met in an emergency session Wednesday to consider whether to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. The topic was the first item on the agenda for the session. 

ACIP includes public health experts and medical professionals whose job it is to develop vaccine recommendations in the United States. In addition to making recommendations on the newly-developed COVID-19 vaccines, ACIP sets guidelines for childhood and adult immunization schedules. 

 

Deaths hit a new low

Wednesday, the Associated Press reported COVID-19 deaths tumbled to a new low in the United States. The current average, about 600 deaths per day, represents the lowest level in the US in about 10 months. 

In about half the states, the AP reported the number of lives lost fell to single digits, with zero lives lost on some days. 

Utah officials show 2,249 Utahns have died because of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 

Infections continue to fall as well, with an average nationwide of around 38,000 per day, the lowest since September. It’s an 85% drop from the peak in January. 

In Utah, an average of 325 Utahns test positive for COVID-19 each day, with the state reporting a total of 401,251 cases since the pandemic began. State health officials in the past attributed much of the slowing rate of infection to vaccination. 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Obtain a flu shot.
  • Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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CDC advisory panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and up