CDC: At least 600,000 kids 12 to 15 have received first COVID-19 vaccine dose

At least 600,000 kids in the United States ages 12 to 15 have already received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine nearly a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech shot for the age group. 

CDC Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyArkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Unvaccinated nursing instructor urges COVID-19 shot from hospital bed after infection Large majority of unvaccinated say they don't intend to get the shot: poll MORE revealed the latest numbers during a press briefing Tuesday, saying a total of about 3.5 million people younger than 18 are already vaccinated, according to agency data. 

NBC News reported that while Walensky initially said Tuesday that 4.1 million people under 18 had been vaccinated, the CDC later said it was a clerical error. 

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President BidenJoe BidenTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden on hecklers: 'This is not a Trump rally. Let 'em holler' MORE asked states to immediately make the Pfizer-BioNTech shot available for adolescents after Walensky adopted a recommendation from an independent advisory panel that endorsed the vaccine’s safety and efficacy among the age group. 

Some clinics in states such as Pennsylvania, Maine and Georgia did not wait for the CDC recommendation and instead began administering the vaccine to young people ages 12 and 15 after it was authorized for emergency use for the age group by the Food and Drug Administration. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is administered in two doses three weeks apart, had already been authorized for use in people as young as 16 years old, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots have been recommended only for those 18 and older. 

Although severe cases of COVID-19 are relatively uncommon among younger populations, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recorded more than 3.9 million cases among children in the U.S., accounting for about 14 percent of total infections in the country. 

The Biden administration is urging young people who are eligible to get the vaccine to do so as soon as possible, especially to aid in the safe return to in-person schooling and to other pre-pandemic activities. 

White House coronavirus response adviser Andy Slavitt said during Tuesday’s briefing, "The pandemic disrupted your schooling, your job search, your income, your social lives.” 

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"You've seen and experienced stress in a way you probably haven't before,” Slavitt said. "Your generation has showed us how you make the world a better place.” 

“Getting vaccinated is part of carrying the mantle of becoming the generation that changes things for the better,” he added. 

In total, roughly 56 percent of the U.S. population ages 12 and up have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 44 percent fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s vaccine tracker

Among Americans ages 18 and older, 60 percent have now received at least one dose, while nearly 48 percent have been fully vaccinated.