Statement from CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 4, 2021
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

On May 12, 2021, CDC recommended use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in people aged 12 years and up based on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in adolescents following clinical trials. At the time, there was a growing body of evidence that demonstrated the severe health impacts of COVID-19 on adolescents.

Today’s MMWR presents additional data reporting the trends in hospitalizations among adolescents with COVID-19. I am deeply concerned by the numbers of hospitalized adolescents and saddened to see the number of adolescents who required treatment in intensive care units or mechanical ventilation.

Much of this suffering can be prevented.

Until they are fully vaccinated, adolescents should continue to wear masks and take precautions when around others who are not vaccinated to protect themselves, and their family, friends, and community. I ask parents, relatives and close friends to join me and talk with teens about the importance of these prevention strategies and to encourage them to get vaccinated. If parents or their teenagers have questions or concerns, I suggest they talk with their adolescent’s healthcare provider, local health department or neighborhood pharmacist.

Vaccination is our way out of this pandemic. I continue to see promising signs in CDC data that we are nearing the end of this pandemic in this country; however, we all have to do our part and get vaccinated to cross the finish line.

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Page last reviewed: June 4, 2021