The company aim to start vaccinating children by September 2021, as clinical trials reveal that Pfizer is 100% effective in those aged 12 to 15
Pfizer and BioNTech today (31 March) published new data from their ongoing clinical trials involving children and adolescents.
Is the Pfizer vaccine working for children?
Yes, at 100% efficiency for those aged between 12 to 15 years.
In a trial involving 2,260 adolescents of that age in the US, there were no cases of the virus in the group vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine.
The young adolescents showed “strong immunogenicity” one month after their second dose. This means that there was a good immune response in the body when coming into contact with the mRNA vaccine. If you want to know how mRNA vaccines work, we explain them here.
These results are in line with the effect of Pfizer vaccination in the older cohort of 16 to 25 year olds, who also experienced a good immune response. The side effects were generally the same with both groups.
What were the side effects for those aged 16 and over?
Essentially the same as the adult population.
When it comes to side effects, not all participants experienced them – similar to how vaccination impacts the adult population.
The team observed pain at the injection site (84.1%), fatigue (62.9%), headache (55.1%), muscle pain (38.3%), chills (31.9%), joint pain (23.6%), fever (14.2%), injection site swelling (10.5%), injection site redness (9.5%), nausea (1.1%), a general feeling of discomfort (0.5%), and enlarged lymph nodes (0.3%).
How does Pfizer impact children under the age of 12?
Last week, the company began their clinical trial of children between the ages of 6 months to 11 years old. Currently, this investigation is at the very beginning so there is no data available yet.
This will be split into three groups:
- 5 to 11 years;
- 2 to 5 years;
- And 6 months to 2 years.
The 5 to 11 year-old goup started last week and the 2 to 5 year-old group will begin next week.
Pfizer will file for EUA for children, globally
For young adolescents aged between 12 to 15 years old, Pfizer and BioNTech plan to file Emergency Use Authorisation in every country.
They will continue to monitor this group two years after their second dose, but the results have created deep confidence in efficacy for young people. This is good news for disadvantaged children who are experiencing a delay to their educational and social development – Pfizer want to vaccinate this age group before September, 2021.
In the UK, the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers has grown by 36%.
Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Pfizer, commented: “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.
“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.”