Coronavirus

Teenager boy being vaccinated
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Pfizer Says Its COVID Vaccine Is Very Effective In Kids Between 12 To 15

Data shows the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is very effective at preventing infection in kids age 12 to 15.

The results of a recent clinical trial show Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine works in children 12 to 15, the drug makers said Wednesday. In fact, trial results suggest the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may actually be more effective at preventing infection in young teens than it is in young adults.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated 100% efficacy in a phase 3 clinical trial involving 2,260 adolescents aged 12 to 15 years old with not one single child in the vaccinated group becoming infected with the virus, Pfizer and BioNTech announced in a press release Wednesday. What’s more, the vaccine was found to have produced “robust antibody responses” that exceeded those recorded in trials on individuals age 16 to 25.

“Across the globe, we are longing for a normal life. This is especially true for our children,” BioNTech CEO and cofounder Ugur Sahin said in a statement released alongside trial results. “The initial results we have seen in the adolescent studies suggest that children are particularly well protected by vaccination, which is very encouraging given the trends we have seen in recent weeks regarding the spread of the B.1.1.7 UK variant. It is very important to enable them to get back to everyday school life and to meet friends and family while protecting them and their loved ones.”

According to drug makers, children between the ages of 12 and 15 were also found to have tolerated the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine well. Reported side effects in this age group remained consistent with the side effects observed in those 16 to 25 years old — namely pain, fever, chills, and fatigue. Participants in the vaccine manufacturers’ most recent trial will continue to be monitored for another two years in an effort to garner information about the vaccine’s long-term protection and safety.

The drug companies behind the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine said they plan to share the results of their clinical trial with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in hopes that the vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization be expanded to include youth age 12 to 15 before fall.

“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,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said Wednesday. “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.”

While data from the CDC has shown that in-person learning and schools are not behind substantial community transmission of COVID-19, vaccinating children will likely help fast-track a return to normalcy within the classroom. A separate trial testing the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently underway on children between the ages of six months and 11 years. Moderna is also testing its COVID-19 vaccine on children as young as six months.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.