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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pediatricians are preparing for the Food and Drug Administration to soon authorize the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents between 12 and 15.

Pfizer claims a clinical trial has found its vaccine to be safe and effective among that age group.

If the FDA approves the shot for this younger group of children next week, a government advisory panel would still have to meet and make its recommendation before parents see the shots roll out for adolescents.

Children’s Mercy Hospital already is leading another clinical trial in the region to test the Pfizer vaccine in babies as young as six months old, up to age 11.

“It will allow kids to be able to do more things with freedom that they haven’t been able to do,” said Dr. Angela Myers, infectious diseases division director at Children’s Mercy. “My hope is that we will be able to get all kids in school every day at the start of this next school year. Getting kids vaccinated is going to help us do that.”

Moderna and Johnson and Johnson also are testing their vaccines in children between 12 and 17.
The Pfizer vaccine already is approved for anyone 16 and older.

Children’s Mercy has been helping school districts immunize 16- and 17-year-olds including Olathe, Turner and Kansas City, Missouri.

Myers says it will take a coordinated effort later this year between the hospital, schools and pediatricians to get all of Kansas City’s kids protected against COVID-19.