The U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Monday authorized the emergency use of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE COVID-19 vacccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15. Acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock called the expansion of the emergency use a “significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.” The FDA had granted the vaccine emergency use for people 16 and older. “Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations,” she said. From March 2020 through April 2021, about 1.5 million COVID-19 cases in kids 11 to 17 years of age have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA said.

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