In a final-stage trial that studied more than 2,200 teens in the U.S., not a single vaccinated person became infected with COVID-19, Pfizer said in a press release. 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 published the test data. The company plans to present the results to the FDA in the coming weeks, said Albert Bourla, executive director, “in hopes of starting vaccinating this age group before the start of the next school year.”
If it obtains emergency authorization, the Pfizer vaccine will be the first in the United States to be administered to children under 16 years of age. Public health experts to believe that vaccinating children will be crucial to achieving “herd immunity,” when so many people have immunity to COVID-19 that the virus can no longer be spread effectively. President Joe Biden has called for vaccination of high school students in the fall of the U.S. and elementary students in early 2022, if test results as announced by Pfizer show that vaccines are indeed safe and effective between them.
Pfizer said the trial showed the vaccine was safe in children aged 12 to 15, with side effects “generally consistent with those seen in participants aged 16 to 25.”
Pfizer vaccine first authorized for emergency use for people 16 and older in December and since then more than 75 million doses have been administered to Americans. A clinical trial last fall it was found to be 95% effective in reducing COVID-19 infections in adults; a recent study showed similar results of 90% efficacy in the “real world“since your authorization.
In the announcement, Pfizer also said it has started vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 in a related global trial and will start next week giving it to a group of children aged 2 to 5.