Pfizer said in a press release in an end-of-stage trial studying more than 2,200 teens in the United States that no vaccinated person has been infected with COVID-19. The results suggest that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may be even more effective in children 12 to 15 years of age than in adults.
Pfizer has not yet released trial data. The company plans to submit the results to the FDA in the coming weeks, said Albert Bourla, the executive director, “with the hope of starting vaccinating this age group 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 16 years of age. Public health experts he believes that vaccinating children will be crucial to gaining “herd immunity” – when so many people are immune to COVID-19 that the virus is no longer able to spread effectively. President Joe Biden has called for the immunization of high school students from the fall in the United States and elementary schools in early 2022, if the results of trials like the one announced by Pfizer show that vaccines are really safe and effective between them.
Pfizer said the trial showed that vaccination is safe in children 12 to 15 years old, with side effects “generally consistent with those observed in participants 16 to 25 years old.”
Pfizer vaccine it was first authorized for emergency use for people 16 years of age or older in December, and more than 75 million doses have been given to Americans since. A clinical trial last fall found that it was 95% effective in reducing COVID-19 infections in adults; a recent study showed similar efficacy results of 90% in the “real world“since his authorization.
In the announcement, Pfizer also said it has started vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 in a connected global process and that it will start next week giving it to a group of children aged 2 to 5.