DETROIT – New information suggests the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12.
The information comes from a press release from Pfizer and the data has yet to be published and peer reviewed, but if the data checks out, it’s a major step forward in the effort to protect children from COVID-19.
Pfizer said the data from a late-stage trial shows the vaccine is highly effective in adolescents. The trial included more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12-15. The company said there were 18 COVID cases in the placebo group and zero cases in the vaccine group and no significant side effects -- an efficacy rate of 100%.
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The most encouraging data is the antibody levels in the children were actually higher than those seen in the 16-25 year olds in the original trial.
While most children have suffered mild symptoms from COVID-19, they are still spreading the virus. Infectious disease experts believe vaccinating children will ultimately be necessary to stop the pandemic.
“By the fall, I think there’s a good possibility we’ll be vaccinating teenagers 12 and up,” said Dr. Peter Hotez. “For middle schools, junior high schools, high schools, it’s really good news.”
Pfizer said its next step is to submit its data to the FDA as soon as possible to request its emergency use authorization be expanded to include young teens.
It’s currently authorized for ages 16 and up.
The participants in the trial will continue to be monitored for two years.