Pfizer says vaccine 100 percent effective in kids 12 to 15
Pfizer and BioNTech announced Wednesday morning that their COVID-19 vaccine is 100 percent effective in children ages 12 to 15.
The vaccines were effective and generated robust antibody responses in a clinical trial of 2,260 adolescents, the companies said in a statement. Eighteen coronavirus cases were identified in the placebo group, compared to no cases among those vaccinated.
The companies said they planned to submit their data to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as soon as possible and request expansion of their emergency use authorization.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said he hopes to start vaccinating the younger age group before the start of the next school year.
“We share the urgency to expand the authorization of our vaccine to use in younger populations and are encouraged by the clinical trial data from adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15,” Bourla said in a statement. “We plan to submit these data to FDA as a proposed amendment to our Emergency Use Authorization in the coming weeks and to other regulators around the world, with the hope of starting to vaccinate this age group before the start of the next school year.”
First authorized in December, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently authorized for those aged 16 years old and older. The company on Thursday began a clinical trial of the vaccine on children ages 6 to 11.
Meanwhile, Moderna announced this month that it is testing its vaccine on children between the ages of six months and 12 years old in the U.S. and Canada.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than 10 percent of coronavirus cases have been among children and adolescents aged 5-17. Children can spread the virus to others but are less likely to develop a severe illness or die from COVID-19.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told Congress in a hearing earlier in March that high school students would likely get vaccinated beginning in the fall, while elementary-school aged children should begin getting vaccinated by early 2022.
–Updated at 8:14 a.m.