President Joe Biden is making his push for children to get Covid-19 vaccines, now authorized for kids 12 and older, dismissing their low risk of serious illness in the hope of stopping its spread to more vulnerable age groups.
“This is one more giant step in our fight against the pandemic,” Biden told reporters on Wednesday, after a CDC panel voted to recommend use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds. The shot was already available to anyone over 16, and the FDA on Monday gave emergency authorization to expand eligibility down to the age of 12.
Biden noted that there have been about three million Covid-19 cases among US children. But while Americans 17 and under account for around 9% of cases, they make up less than 0.1% of Covid-19 deaths. Children who are infected with the virus don’t typically suffer serious illness or death.