In a forensic study that examined more than 2,200 teens in the United States, no vaccinated person became infected with COVID-19, according to a Pfizer press release. The results suggest that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may be even more effective for children 12 to 15 years of age than in adults.
Pfizer has not yet released trial data. The company plans to present the results to the FDA in the coming weeks, said CEO Albert Burla, “hoping to start vaccinating this age group by the beginning of next school year.”
If it receives an emergency permit, the Pfizer vaccine will be the first in the United States to be issued to children under the age of 16. Specialists in public health faith that vaccinating children will be crucial to achieving “herd immunity” – when so many people are immune to COVID-19 that the virus can no longer spread effectively. President Joe Biden has called for immunization of middle school students by the fall in the U.S. and elementary classes in early 2022, when test results, such as those announced by Pfizer, show that vaccines are indeed safe and effective among them.
Pfizer said the trial showed that the vaccine was safe for children aged 12 to 15, with side effects “usually coinciding with the effects seen in participants aged 16-25.”
Pfizer vaccine was first allowed for emergency use in December for people 16 and older, since then Americans have been given more than 75 million doses. A clinical trial last fall, it was found to be 95% effective in reducing COVID-19 infection in adults; a recent study found similar 90% efficiency results ”The real world“since its authorization.
The Pfizer report also reported that it has started vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 in an appropriate global trial and will begin conducting it next week for a group of children aged 2 to 5.