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State prepares to expand COVID-19 vaccine access to young teens as officials await FDA approval

WCVB Boston logo WCVB Boston 5/4/2021
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Massachusetts is working on a plan to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents.

The New York Times reported that the FDA is preparing to authorize use of the Pfizer vaccine children ages 12 to 15 early next week.

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The agency would likely add an amendment to the current authorization this week — clearing the way for those shots.

Gov. Charlie Baker said the state is already getting ready for this rollout.

“We’ll probably pursue the same process that we’ve pursued with the rest of this, which is we’ll talk to a bunch of the experts and based on the guidance and advice we get from them, make sure we have infrastructure in place that’s going to work for that population,” Baker said.

Baker said that could include making vaccinations available in schools, but officials want to look at the logistics and storage that would be involved.

In late March, Pfizer released preliminary results from a vaccine study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15, showing there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared with 18 among those given dummy shots.

Kids had side effects similar to young adults, the company said. The main side effects are pain, fever, chills and fatigue, particularly after the second dose. The study will continue to track participants for two years for more information about long-term protection and safety.


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