Breaking: FDA approves Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Student receiving shot
Palo Alto High School junior Alex Franklin receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on April 15, the first day she was eligible. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized this afternoon for use on children aged 12 to 15 today, making all high school students eligible. Students in this age group are equally excited to get the vaccine. “The vaccine will definitely make it much easier for Paly to loosen regulations and reopen activities,” freshman Lucas Bicudo stated in a message to the Voice. “Hopefully students will feel safer to interact with their peers once they have taken the vaccine.” Photo: Alex Franklin

Update: The Centers for Disease Control recommended the administration of the vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 15 on Wednesday, the “final hurdle” in the approval process. Vaccinations for children in this age group may now begin immediately. Visit for more information on where to get vaccinated in Santa Clara County.

All students at Palo Alto High School will soon be able to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use on people aged 12 to 15 today.

However, the vaccine must pass through one final hurdle before any doses can be administered — an advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control must endorse the vaccine’s safety for the younger age group.

Students are pleased with the news. Freshman Sophia Yang said that access to the vaccine would make her more comfortable meeting with friends and socializing in person.

“I’m less hesitant to go [to school] and I’ll be more willing to go and see other people knowing that we’re both vaccinated,” Yang said.

Sophomore Kylie Tzeng echoed the sentiment and said she would feel less nervous to meet with friends indoors, since they would be following the social distancing guidelines set out for people who have been fully vaccinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“My friends can get vaccinated now, so I can hang out with my friends while still following the restrictions but with a little less pressure,” Tzeng said.

For freshman Jack Breitenstein, getting vaccinated is mainly about making sure he does not expose others to COVID-19.

“I want to get it [the vaccine] so I won’t transmit it to others and I don’t have to worry about infecting people,” Breitenstein said. “I also want to get vaccinated so people won’t think I’ll give it [COVID-19] to them and I can participate in more social events in the future.”