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FDA approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 for 12 to 15 year olds, local school districts react

Published: May. 10, 2021 at 7:43 PM CDT
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BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old.

And some local school districts are welcoming the news.

Bessemer City School’s superintendent said the FDA’s announcement is really big news for her school district and others, saying it puts them one step closer to getting back normal and feeling safer at school.

Bessemer City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Autumm Jeter, said the classroom has looked very different than in years past.

“We had to act and put all PPE in place immediately from the dividers in classrooms, around the teachers’ desks, secretarial desks. Some of our students…we’re better at the elementary level, but at the secondary level, about 60, 65 percent of our students chose virtual this school year and are ending the school year on the virtual option. So, obviously, we maintained that option throughout the year, and of course the face masks,” Dr. Jeter explained.

She said schools have managed well during this pandemic, but she’s ready to get her district back to traditional routines and procedures.

She said getting younger children vaccinated could be the path to getting there.

“We know that educational research shows that face-to-face instruction is the best type of instruction, best form of learning for the majority of the students and we want to make sure that we’re able to provide that for them,” Dr. Jeter said.

Right now, Pfizer’s vaccine is the only COVID-19 shot authorized for use in people 12 and older.

Dr. Jeter said the district will work to offer the shot students in that age group as well as their families.

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