The United States Drug Agency ( FDA ) announced on Monday that it has authorized the Pfizer / BioNTech anticovid vaccine for minors between the ages of 12 and 15.
The measure is "an important step in the fight against the pandemic" and "allows a younger population to be protected against COVID-19," said Janet Woodcock, acting head of the FDA, in a statement.
Until now, the emergency use of this vaccine was authorized for people from 16 years of age. Now it can be administered to millions more adolescents, in two injections containing the same dose as the adult vaccine.
"Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency conducted a rigorous and detailed analysis of all available data," stated Woodcock.
Canada on Wednesday became the first country to authorize the use of the immunizer for this age segment.
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, had already underlined last week the crucial role that the vaccination of adolescents would play in the development of the vast immunization campaign of the North American power. As soon as the FDA authorization announcement is made, "we will be ready to act immediately," he said.
Some 20,000 pharmacies should be able to vaccinate adolescents in the coming days, and then doses will also be sent to pediatricians, he explained.
Two other vaccines are licensed in the United States, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, both starting at age 18.