ST. LOUIS – Pfizer has announced its COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective and suitable for children ages 12 to 15. Many doctors say this is exactly the news they hoped to hear.
Pfizer hopes to start vaccinating children before the next school year.
Dr. Rachel Charney, medical director of disaster preparedness at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, says the news is encouraging.
“Real exciting to hear the vaccine so far is incredibly effective in our adolescent population,” she said. “Not a huge surprise. We already knew that the vaccine was effective in out adult population. Good news to know that we and even better in our children.”
Pfizer plans to request emergency use authorization in the coming weeks. According to Pfizer, in a Phase 3 trial of more than 2,200 young teenagers in the United States, about half got real shots while the others received a placebo.
Dr. Charney says she studied the test results.
“Half got the vaccine, which looks like the vaccine, and half got it and what they found were cases of COVID in the group that got the placebo,” she said. “But those who actually got the vaccine, we know one got COVID since they followed the children.”
Health officials say as schools reopen without vaccinating students, this recent news may help protect as many people as possible and is a sign that research is heading in the right direction.
Pfizer is also studying how well the vaccine works in children ages 6 months to 11 years old. The first doses in that trial were administered last week.
Pfizer plans to submit their adolescent vaccine dose plan to the FDA to ask for authorization. It’s unclear how long the FDA will take to review the request.