October 26, 2020 -- Pfizer is now including teens in clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, expanding the participation age to include high schoolers and middle schoolers, according to USA Today.

Pfizer is the only pharmaceutical company allowing minors to join coronavirus vaccine trials at the moment. The company initially lowered the age to 16, and this week, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center vaccinated the first 12-year-old.

Vaccine experts and pediatricians have voiced mixed reactions, USA Today reported. Some say drug manufacturers should wait until the vaccines have been approved in adults, but others say it’s necessary to proceed vaccine testing among specific groups, including minors.

“If I were part of the FDA, I would certainly want to be very convinced about the safety of a vaccine before I approved its use in children,” Cody Meissner, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Tufts Children’s Hospital, said Thursday during an FDA advisory panel meeting.

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