Minimum Age for a COVID-19 Vaccine

Should sixteen be the minimum age to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and why did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) make this decision?

There is a committee within the CDC called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). They advise the director of the CDC about the use of vaccines. The ACIP uses four maxims to guide decision making: maximizing benefits and minimizing harm, mitigating health inequities, promoting justice, and promoting transparency. These guidelines are in place so that people are given respect, equity, and care, populations are treated fairly, and the CDC’s decisions are clear and understandable. After the ACIP meets and deems the vaccine to meet their standard, the CDC publishes their vaccine recommendations.

The main reason why the COVID-19 vaccine is only available to people ages sixteen and up is because previous clinical trials for the vaccine have only been performed on that population. This may be subject to change once more information is discovered about how well the vaccine works. Clinical trials have begun on children ages twelve and above.

If you are sixteen or older, lucky you! You may soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination! Until then, and even after you get it, keep wearing masks and taking precautions to keep yourself and others safe.

— Vienna Gurev