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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced on Tuesday that 600,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 have received a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since the FDA granted emergency authorization for that age group last Monday.
Why it matters: Vaccinating teens and children will play a key role in fully reopening schools and fully curbing the pandemic in the U.S.
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While it is less likely for young people to fall severely ill from COVID-19, infections can still happen. More than 3 million adolescents under the age of 17 have contracted the virus, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Tuesday.
Pfizer has said its vaccine was 100% effective at protecting against the virus in children between the ages of 12 and 15.
The big picture: More than 4.1 million adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 have been vaccinated so far, since the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines had already been authorized for people over 16, Walensky said at a press briefing.
"Yesterday, we had a landmark day as the president announced more than 60% of people, 18 years or older, have received at least one vaccine dose," she added.
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