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U.S. CDC panel meets on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine use in adolescents

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A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tami Chappell/File Photo

May 12 (Reuters) - Advisors to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will meet on Wednesday to discuss recommendations for the use of Pfizer (PFE.N) and partner BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 12 to 15.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) provides recommendations to the CDC that many states will consider as they begin administering the two-shot vaccine to adolescents this week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccine for use in the younger age group on Monday, offering relief to parents eager to get their children back to schools and summer camps. read more

About one in three Americans have been fully-vaccinated according to the CDC data. But the pace of vaccination has slowed in the recent weeks.

The rollout of a vaccine for adolescents should help further limit the spread of the virus at a time when more contagious variants are circulating, and could shorten the road to normalcy for Americans.

"I think we should be in full school, full in-person school, in the fall," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a CNBC health summit on Tuesday.

Children have been considered by health officials as being at a lower risk for severe COVID-19, but they can still spread the virus.

Pfizer is running a separate trial testing the vaccine in children as young as 6-months-old, and has said it expects data on its use in 2- to 11-year-olds in September. The 12-to-15 age group were tested as an expansion of Pfizer's more than 46,000-person trial.

The committee will hear from Pfizer about the vaccine's safety and efficacy in adolescents and will consider the views of a handful of CDC officials on its implementation.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Caroline Humer and Bill Berkrot

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