The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has granted final approval to administer BioNTech-Pfizer COVID vaccine for adolescents in the age group of 12 to 15 years.

President Joe Biden described this as another giant step in the United States’ fight against the pandemic. “I sincerely think the scientists, researchers, and clinical trial participants; they’ve all made this possible. Because of them, nearly 17 million more Americans are eligible to get vaccinated now,” he said in an update on the Government’s COVID-19 Response and the Vaccination Program.

About 3 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in children under 17 years of age. Now that a vaccine is authorized for ages 12 and up, Biden urged parents to make sure their children get the shot.

He said more than 15,000 pharmacies across the country will be ready to vaccinate this age group.

Biden added that vaccines are going to be made available to pediatricians and family doctors so parents and children can talk to their doctors who they trust about getting the vaccination.

Biden said that his administration made strong progress on the adult vaccination efforts in the past few days by making it easier than ever to get vaccinated. “Now more employers than ever are giving people time off as well to get their shots. More grocery and retail stores and sports teams are providing discounts and promotions to encourage customers and fans to get vaccinated.”

“We’re now on track to hit 60 percent of adults with at least one shot by next week,” he told reporters.

New coronavirus cases continue to fall in the United States. With 35022 new cases reporting on Wednesday, the national total increased to 33,586,136. This is less than the weekly average of 36732.

838 new deaths were reported in the country on the same day, which is lower than the 7-day average of 628. With this, the COVID death toll in the U.S. increased to 597,785.

105 deaths were reported from California, while Florida reported the highest number of cases – 3184.

A total of 26,620,229 people have so far recovered from coronavirus infection in the country.

The number of COVID hospitalizations in the United States has reached its lowest since the start of the pandemic.

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