Pfizer Inc is now seeking to amend its vaccine authorisations to include the younger age group after a study showed that the COVID-19 vaccine was 100% effective in a final-stage trial for kids 12 to 15 years old.
The vaccine is already authorised for people ages 16 years and up. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech SE said they plan to submit the data to regulators in the US and Europe as soon as possible.
In Qatar, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is now also being administered to people who are at least 16 years old.
In the study of 2,260 adolescents, the vaccine produced antibodies against the COVID-19 that exceeded the level seen in vaccinated young adults, Pfizer and BioNTech said in a statement.
All 18 cases of COVID-19 in the study were teens who received a placebo. Side effects were consistent with those experienced by people 16 to 25 years old.
According to Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla:
We share the urgency to expand the authorisation 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.
In people 16 years and older, Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s messenger RNA vaccine was 95% effective at preventing symptomatic cases in final-stage trial, leading to its emergency authorisation late last year. The other messenger RNA vaccine on the market from Moderna Inc is currently authorised for people who are at least 18 years old and was 94% effective in its final-stage trial. Both vaccines require two doses.
Earlier this month, both Pfizer and Moderna began trials of their vaccines in kids under 12. Moderna is also studying its vaccine in adolescents.
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