LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There is now more hope for expanding COVID-19 vaccine availability for younger children.

Pfizer is now asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve emergency use of its vaccine in kids ages 12 to 15. 

The drug company said in its clinical trials, the vaccine was safe and 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children as young as 12.

Area doctors say this is exciting news, and signals that more kids could be vaccinated before the start of the next school year.

"Kids make up 22% of the population, and so we're not gonna get to herd immunity until we can vaccinate kids," Dr. Kris Bryant, with Norton Children's Hospital, said. 

Experts say the FDA's review process will likely take several weeks. If passed, this would make Pfizer's vaccine available to the widest age range. Right now, under the current emergency use authorization, it is only approved for ages 16 and older.

The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are only authorized for those age 18 and older.

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