• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

FDA authorizes Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine trial of more than 2,200 volunteers ages 12 to 15 showed zero COVID-19 cases among those who were fully vaccinated. CBS News spoke to one teen who was a part of the trial who says, "it's just worth it in every way you look at it." Davd Begnaud reports.

Video Transcript

ANTHONY MASON: Now to that big news about the FDA's authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for older kids. It has been found to be 100% effective in adolescents ages 12 to 15. Our Lead National Correspondent, David Begnaud, is at the FDA's headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland outside Washington. David, good morning.

DAVID BEGNAUD: Anthony, good morning. 100% effective-- how about that, right? Look, this announcement comes at a time when infection rates among adults are plummeting, because so many of us have been vaccinated. But they're still rising among young people. With this announcement, about 17 million young people will be eligible to get vaccinated. And the hope is, get as many vaccinated as you can by the time school starts in the fall.

TY DROPIC: I wanted to see if the vaccine was safe and effective, and to help other people be able to be vaccinated.

DAVID BEGNAUD: This is 14-year-old Ty Dropic. He and his older brother Ben took part in the Pfizer vaccine trial back in December.

It's just worth it in every way that you look at it.

DAVID BEGNAUD: In Pfizer's study of more than 2,200 volunteers ages 12 to 15, there were zero cases-- zero cases-- of COVID among those who were fully vaccinated, compared to 18 cases among those given a placebo.

How soon should pediatricians expect to receive the vaccine so they can start administering them?

PETER MARKS: The group that's helping to distribute the vaccine, they understand this need for appropriate storage of this. And they will be ensuring that there are a sufficient number of pharmacies, health centers that will be able to distribute this, probably by later on this week.

DAVID BEGNAUD: Despite the positive outlook, there was a recent survey that showed only about 30% of parents will get their kids vaccinated when it becomes available. Nearly a quarter say they will not get their child vaccinated at all. CBS News Medical Contributor Dr. David Agus says encouragement coupled with incentives is what will drive the effort.

DAVID AGUS: Hopefully, as parents start to see schools say, hey, you want your child to be in person and be socialized to be with friends? They need to be vaccinated. The parents who do vaccinate their children say, hey, you can only play around with kids who are also vaccinated. And so hopefully that'll have an effect.

DAVID BEGNAUD: Ty Dropic's family is trying to move the needle. His 8-year-old sister and 10-year-old brother joined trials for younger children after seeing their older siblings get the vaccine. Dropic's mom Amanda, who is a pediatrician herself, is hopeful their story sends a message to you.

I think the message for this group is, listen, the vaccine is safe. It works. And if you want to do things that you normally would like to do-- if you want to go hang out with friends, IF you want to go on vacation-- if you want to do those kinds of things, then get your vaccine, and let's go back to life being normal again.

DAVID BEGNAUD: Hear that loud and clear. Listen, the kids in this trial received the same dose of the vaccine as adults do. And they had some of the same side effects-- sore arm, fatigue, fever, chills. And Anthony, the FDA was telling us that some vaccines could be rolled out by pediatricians ready to actually give them as early as this Thursday.

ANTHONY MASON: And let's underline that again, David-- 100% effective for 12- to 15-year-olds. Thank you very much.