U.S. CDC panel to vote on using Pfizer COVID-19 shot in adolescents

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Pharmacist Jeanne Yu prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination to be administered to Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) workers at Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal in the Manhattan borough of New York

(Reuters) - An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will meet on Wednesday to review data on the use of Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 15.

The vaccine is currently authorized for use in Americans aged 16 and above.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will vote on the expanded use of the vaccine in the lower age group, the health agency's meeting agenda showed on Friday, without specifying the exact voting questions. (https://bit.ly/3nXwxaC)

The drugmakers in April requested U.S. health regulators to extend the vaccine's use after a clinical trial found it was safe, effective and produced robust antibody responses in 12- to 15-year-olds.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky last month said she expects the shot to be authorized for the lower age group by mid-May.

The panel meeting is a further indication that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) final decision of the emergency use expansion could come soon.

Should the FDA's decision come before the Wednesday meeting, the panel's recommendation could be one of the last steps before U.S. states can start inoculating adolescents with the shot.

Pfizer and BioNTech said on Friday they have filed for a full U.S. approval for their vaccine.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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