As more and more adults are eligible and encouraged (including pregnant and breastfeeding folks) to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines cleared for emergency use, the timeline for children and teens under sixteen has remained elusive. As vaccines for infants, children and teens require caution and a good deal of promising data, it was reported earlier in the pandemic that parents could expect vaccine news for their kids later in 2021.
On Wednesday, however, Pfizer-Biontech shared news that a recent study of their vaccine among 2,260 American volunteers between the ages 12 and 15 showed “no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents” as opposed to 18 cases among those given a placebo shot.
Per Pfizer, the side effects for the vaccine in teens were similar to those in adults — seeing fatigue, pain, fever and chills (that were more intense after the second dose).
“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,” Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Pfizer said in a press release. “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.”
According to Pfizer, they are continuing to study the efficacy of the vaccine in children of all ages, evaluating the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine in groups aged five to 11, two to five and six months to two years in the coming weeks. Though these results are from an early, smaller study that still needs to be peer-reviewed, they represent some optimistic odds for getting younger populations vaccinated (and making back-to-school safer).
“Across the globe, we are longing for a normal life. This is especially true for our children,” Ugur Sahin, CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech said. “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.”
Before you go, check out some of our favorite all-natural cough and cold products for kids: