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AUSTIN, TEXAS — On Monday, May 10, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration expanded the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include 12 through 15-year-old adolescents. On May 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices endorsed this expanded use, and the CDC adopted the recommendation later that evening.
This action will significantly aid COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the United States and quicken the nation’s recovery efforts. Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP), issued the following statement in response to the expanded eligibility.
“With the recent news that the COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for adolescents aged 12 and older, it is natural that parents and guardians will have questions. We encourage patients and families to consult their health care provider and ensure that their children are up to date on all scheduled vaccinations,” said Thomas. “For decades nurse practitioners (NPs) have been educating patients and families to help them make informed decisions, leading to better health outcomes.
“AANP is committed to continuing to fight COVID-19, combating health disparities and ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. We encourage the administration to engage with NPs and other health care providers to ensure information and vaccines are readily available to patients and families.”
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 325,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs’ patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org.