Results from the COVID-19 vaccine research in teenagers were released by Pfizer-BioNTech on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. A recent clinical research with 2,260 participants aged 12 to 15 showed the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective with 100% efficacy, strong antibody responses, and generally positive participant tolerance, according to a press release from the business.
The study found that, on average, the teenagers produced more antibodies than the 16–25-year-olds in a previous trial by Pfizer-BioNTech.
In contrast to the placebo group, which reported 18 cases of COVID-19, those who were vaccinated against the virus saw none.
Despite the promising findings, Pfizer-BioNtech must first submit a detailed report to the FDA and seek emergency use authorization before administering the vaccine to people older than 12 years old. The company intends to immunize youngsters of this age group before the start of the new school year in September.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has a minimum age requirement of 16 in the United States. Even for the more advanced vaccines like Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, the age limit is 18.
Although such minimums are currently required because of trial results, they do not include a sizable portion of the population. As of 2019, it is predicted that there are 73 million Americans younger than 18 years old.
Reasons Why It’s Important to Vaccinate Kids
More than 3.4 million kids in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 as of March 25, 2021. This figure may account for about 14% of all instances. There is substantially less evidence of fatalities in children from COVID-19, although children can still get sick and spread the virus.
Until vaccines are fully licensed for use on children, social isolation measures must be taken. A youngster who contracts the virus could potentially infect a fully immunized adult.
To have evidence that immunizations reduce the risk of death or serious disease is encouraging. It is wise to take measures, such as avoiding close contact with strangers and always wearing a mask, until the majority of people, especially children, are vaccinated.
In order to achieve herd immunity, it is crucial to get insight into how the COVID-19 vaccination affects children. Scientists believe that vaccinating at least 80% of the population against COVID-19 is necessary. As of March 2021, only 16.4% of Americans have had all of their vaccinations, while 29.4% have received at least one dosage.
Total viral suppression, which also involves variance suppression, can be achieved more rapidly if a larger percentage of the population is vaccinated. This can be helped by including the following segment of the population in the overall vaccination effort.
More Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Studies
Pfizer-BioNTech updated the results of their trial of the vaccine’s efficacy in children aged 6-11 years old in the same news release. The first children in the age category of 5-11 received their vaccines last week, and the following week, the company will begin vaccinating children in the age range of 2-5.
Companies like Pfizer-BioNTech aren’t the only ones trying to widen access. The vaccine is currently being tested on children aged 6 months to 11 years, and Moderna is also working on a trial for adolescents aged 12 to 17. Similarly, Johnson & Johnson has begun testing its vaccines on young adults.
Vaccination against COVID-19 may be widely available for kids aged 12 and up in time for the start of the new school year. However, studies on the vaccine’s efficacy and safety in younger children are still underway.