CDC panel OKs Pfizer vaccine for 12-15; death rate down

A federal advisory committee said Wednesday the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for adolescents ages 12-15, opening the door for its widespread use starting Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s panel met to discuss the merits of the vaccine in that age group after the Food and Drug Administration signed off Monday on the shots. That prompted some cities to start administering them Tuesday, but the CDC panel’s recommendation — expected to be adopted by the agency later Wednesday — figures to make them more widely available.

Parents, school administrators and many others had been awaiting the vaccine’s authorization for children 12-15 as another major step in the process of returning to normal life after more than a year of grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.