New York Preps Covid-19 Vaccine for Adolescents
By Joseph De Avila
New York could begin administering the Covid-19 vaccine to
children aged 12 to 15 as soon as this Thursday after federal
health regulators gave the green light to inoculate adolescents,
state officials said.
The Covid-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE had
previously been approved for people aged 16 and up. The Food and
Drug Administration on Monday cleared that vaccine to be used for
children as young as 12.
A New York state panel will make a final recommendation for
vaccinating young people following a separate review by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said
Tuesday. If approved as expected, 12- to 15-year-olds could begin
receiving the vaccine later this week, he said.
"The Covid-19 vaccine is our best weapon to defeat the virus,
and we're taking all the appropriate precautions to ensure the
safety and effectiveness of our vaccine program," said Mr. Cuomo, a
Over 16.9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been
administered to date in New York. Nearly 50% of the state's
population age 18 and up have been fully vaccinated.
Health experts say children will also need to be vaccinated to
help end the pandemic. Opening up vaccines to children as young as
12 could also help efforts by school districts to reopen classrooms
full-time to middle- and high-school students.
The Biden administration has said it won't require schools to
mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for students. In New York, the state
Legislature would have to pass a law to implement such a mandate,
Mr. Cuomo said.
New York lawmakers would only be able to consider legislation
mandating Covid-19 vaccines, which have only been approved on an
emergency basis, after the U.S. FDA gives the vaccine full
approval, Mr. Cuomo said. That process could take several months,
"If there was a federal approval, it is going to be a legitimate
topic of discussion," Mr. Cuomo said Tuesday at a news
The pending approval for vaccinations for people as young as 12
comes as Covid-19 cases continue to fall. New York's statewide
seven-day average positivity rate dipped to 1.34% on Monday, the
lowest figure since late October and the 36th straight day of
Covid-19 hospitalizations also continue to fall. There were
2,026 Covid-19 patients hospitalized in New York as of Monday, a
21% drop from the previous week.
Write to Joseph De Avila at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 11, 2021 17:45 ET (21:45 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.