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Question Your World: Who All Is Now Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccination?

Posted: May 14, 2021

As of Monday May 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had announced 115.5 million Americans are now fully vaccinated. More than 58% of adults have received one shot, and the Biden administration hopes to get that number to 70% by July 4th. As vaccination efforts have continued to reach adults, many of us are left wondering – what about the kids? That big question is about to get answered. Who all is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?

For a while, anyone 16 or older has been eligible for a vaccination, but we still have many younger American children in the U.S. to protect as well, especially if we’re trying to reopen schools, playgrounds, daycares centers, and all the other normal "kid stuff." 

As of Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had given the PfizerBioNtech vaccine an emergency use authorization  for children ages 12 to 15. This means 87% of the U.S. population is now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.  

Image credit: Getty Images

How effective is this vaccine for young people, though? In late March , Pfizer announced a 100% efficacy and a robust antibody response among 12 to 15 year olds from their study. Great news! That’s just the start though. 

Medical experts working on other vaccine trials have stated they anticipate requesting an emergency use authorization for children 2 to 11 by this September. Similar trials are underway for children six months to 2 years, as well. Moderna is expected to share their vaccines trial results for 12 to 17 year olds in the coming weeks. AstraZeneca is also poised to share some information once their trial on with children 6 months and older concludes. 

This is big news, considering 1 in every 5 new cases of COVID-19 is people under the age of 18. When it comes to keeping our children safe, these scientists are not kidding around.