As of May 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced final emergency use authorization and recommendation of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15.
“We encourage everyone to learn about the COVID-19 vaccines and get vaccinated as soon as they are able,” said David Brumbaugh, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “The more people who can get vaccinated, the better we can protect our community and get back to some normalcy – and back to life.”
Learn the top questions and answers about the COVID-19 vaccines
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine proven safe and effective for ages 12+
With the eagerly anticipated recommendation of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for ages 12 and older, many more children are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This is an important milestone in the pandemic and offers parents and families the chance to protect their children against the virus and its emerging variants.
The FDA and CDC analysis of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine trials in children ages 12 to 15 found the vaccine to be 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 among trial participants. The emergency use authorization and official CDC recommendation show that the vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 12 and older and that the benefits of the vaccine’s protection outweigh any risks. Getting the vaccine helps keep kids and teens safe and protected from the risks of COVID-19.
“The evidence is clear,” said Sean O’Leary, MD, MPH, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s Colorado and member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “Not only is the Pfizer vaccine incredibly effective in kids ages 12 and older, it’s incredibly safe.”
Learn more about how the COVID-19 vaccines were developed.
Impacts of COVID-19 on children
“Though COVID-19 has been less severe in children than adults, it is not harmless and it can still cause kids to get very sick,” said Dr. O’Leary. “In fact, we’ve seen tens of thousands of cases and hospitalizations in kids – and several hundred deaths – throughout the pandemic. Getting children immunized protects the children themselves, as well as their younger siblings who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. We encourage parents to contact their child’s pediatrician with questions and to sign their kids up for a vaccine appointment at the earliest opportunity.”
Our role in vaccine distribution
Children’s Colorado began vaccinating healthcare providers, first responders, teachers and teenage patients at high risk from COVID-19 in the earlier phases of the vaccine rollout. Between April and June, the pediatric health system’s vaccine clinics opened to the public while the State of Colorado ramped up supply and distribution.
With the expanded availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, this month Children's Colorado began to scale down its mass vaccination sites at hospitals at Anschutz Medical Campus and in Colorado Springs. The system will transition to offering Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in a more traditional vaccination model. Tuesday, June 29 was the last day to schedule an appointment for a first dose at the mass vaccination clinic at Anschutz Medical Campus.
“We are immensely proud of our team members, who have vaccinated more than 48,500 individuals against COVID-19 since December 2020,” said Jerrod Milton, Chief Clinical Officer. “After Children’s Hospital Colorado was selected to partner with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to vaccinate eligible Coloradans, it became our mission to reach, educate and make the vaccine accessible to every person who wanted a vaccine to protect our community against COVID-19.”
Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine
We encourage patients and families who haven’t gotten their vaccine yet to talk to their primary care provider about getting vaccinated or find a convenient location to get vaccinated.
- Get vaccinated at Children's Colorado: Learn about options for getting vaccinated at Children's Colorado.
- View all vaccine providers in Colorado: Find a map and list of all vaccine providers, public vaccination sites and mobile vaccine clinics through Colorado.gov.
- Text to find appointments near you: Text your ZIP code to 438829 to find walk-in appointments in your neighborhood.
Find resources for getting vaccinated, transportation options and more
Data on vaccines for younger children expected soon
We believe finding safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 for all ages is key to defeating this pandemic and protecting everyone from this devastating disease. Leaders at Children’s Colorado are closely monitoring the scientific evidence surrounding the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in children younger than 12, including by participating as a study site in the Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trial. “We recognize how important it will be to get more children vaccinated when we know it’s safe to do so,” said Milton. “When the FDA and CDC authorize the vaccine for younger children – which we expect could occur as soon as August - we stand ready to ramp up our mass vaccination efforts again. We will announce these updates on our website.”
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is still critical
Remember, stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available to us. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and new coronavirus variants, we should continue taking precautions, including social distancing, wearing face coverings and hand washing, even if you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine. We must continue to take these precautions until a vaccine is widely available and the majority of the population, including children, has been vaccinated. For the latest on what parents should know during the pandemic, please see our family-friendly COVID-19 resources.