DETROIT – In recent months younger ages have seen a notable increase in COVID cases and complications from the virus.
Most parents will do whatever is necessary to protect their children. So the possibility of the vaccines being authorized for children is welcome news for many.
The two-dose Pfizer mRNA vaccine already has a head start toward vaccinating younger people since its original Emergency Use Authorization extended to anyone ages 16 and up.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are only authorized to age 18.
Now, roughly a month after Pfizer reported the results of a clinical trial in children from 12 to 15 years old, the age range may be extended.
In the study, the children received placebo or two doses of the vaccine using the same amount and three-week separation use in adults.
There were 18 symptomatic cases of COVID among kids who got the placebo and none in the group that received the vaccine.
The study also measured the antibody levels in the vaccine recipients and found they were higher in many cases than those found in earlier trials of older people, meaning the kids had a stronger response.
Most importantly, the vaccine was found to be safe in the younger age group with side effects similar to those seen in younger adults.
Based on those findings, an application has been submitted to the FDA to lower the authorized age for the Pfizer vaccine down to 12 years. This would allow millions of Americans to receive the vaccine.
It is expected that the FDA will announce a decision amending the existing Emergency Use Authorization.