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(WJW) — Children 12 to 15 years old can now receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Monday.

Prior to the announcement, only those 16 and up have been allowed to get vaccinated in the country.

“Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic,” Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine released the following statement after the announcement:

“I am encouraged that the FDA has already updated Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization to include youth ages 12-15. Following a recommendation, as soon as Wednesday, from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the CDC, Ohio will immediately expand vaccine eligibility to youth ages 12-15 and provide appropriate guidance for parents, guardians, and vaccine providers across the state. Vaccinations are our way back to a more normal life.”

At this time, all vaccines have been approved by the FDA for emergency use.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.5 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in kids between 11 to 17 since the beginning of the pandemic.