Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccine Works In 12-15 Year Olds
The Pfizer Koranovirus vaccine works very well in children aged 12 to 15, the pharmaceutical giant said on Wednesday.
In a late-stage study of more than 2,200 teens in the United States, not a single vaccinated person became infected with COVID-19, Pfizer said in a press release. The results show that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may be even more effective in children aged 12 to 15 years than in adults.
Pfizer has not yet released the test data. The company plans to submit the results to the FDA in the coming weeks, said CEO Albert Bourla, “with the hope that vaccination of this age group will begin before the start of next school year.”
If it wins the emergency permit, the Pfizer vaccine will be the first in the United States to be given to children under the age of 16. Public health experts believe that vaccinating children will be vital to achieving “herd immunity” – when so many people have COVID-19 immunity that the virus is no longer able to spread effectively. President Joe Biden has called for high school students to be immunized until the fall of the United States and elementary schools in early 2022 if test results such as those announced by Pfizer show that vaccines are indeed safe and effective.
Pfizer said the test showed the vaccine was safe in children aged 12 to 15 years, with side effects “generally consistent with those seen in participants aged 16 to 25 years”.
The Pfizer vaccine was first approved for emergency use for people aged 16 and over in December and has since been given to more than 75 million doses in Americans. A clinical trial last fall found that it was 95% effective in reducing COVID-19 infections in adults. A recent study showed similar results of 90% efficiency in the “real world” since its adoption.
In the announcement, Pfizer also said that it has started vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 in a relevant global trial and will start next week giving it to a group of children aged 2 to 5.