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To vaccinate or not? What parents need to know if FDA approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Dr. Julie Boom, co-chair of Texas Children's Vaccine Task Force, says parents should take advantage of the opportunity as soon as it's an option.

HOUSTON — The Food and Drug Administration could expand Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization for 12- to 15-year-olds as soon as next week.

"It's very important to take advantage of the opportunity to vaccinate 12- to 15-year-olds," said Dr. Julie Boom. 

Dr. Boom, co-chair of Texas Children's Vaccine Task Force, says the Pfizer data in this age group is as good as it gets. The FDA is reviewing Pfizer's March trial involving 2,260 12- to 15-year-olds. It showed it was 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. That's better efficacy than Pfizer saw in adult trials. 

Kids experienced the same common side effects as young adults, things like fever, chills and fatigue, especially after the second dose. 

"These are hit it out of the park, safe vaccines," Dr. Boom said. "Very effective."

If the timeline holds up, normalcy could be here sooner than expected. Shots could likely go into arms before the next school year. 

"Kids would like to be in school in person, go back to social events with other friends, and one step towards that is actually getting these young persons vaccinated," Dr. Boom said.

President Joe Biden promised they're prepared for this next phase. Plans are in place to make it easier than ever to vaccinate your children. 

"I want American parents to know if that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately to make 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents as soon as FDA grants its okay," President Biden said.

Dr. Boom says parents have questions and with vaccinate misinformation rampant online, she's asking parents to make sure they're getting the facts before making a decision. 

"Go to a trusted source like the Texas Children's website to look for accurate information on vaccines," Dr. Boom said. "Absolutely do not believe the first thing you see on your Google search."

If your kids are younger than 12, there's good news, too. Pfizer also announed it plans to seek an emergency use authorization for 2- to 11-year-olds as soon as September.