BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Promising new research from Pfizer was released Wednesday that shows the COVID vaccine is effective in children ages 12-15 years old.
Over 2,000 children participated in the vaccine trial and the company reports none of the participants who got the vaccine got COVID-19.
“It’s really exciting to me to get all the benefits that we’ve seen as adults,” said Dr. David Kimberlin, Pediatric Infectious Disease - Children’s of Alabama, “Getting all of those in the pediatric age range as well.”
Pfizer had already included 16 year old children in previous vaccine studies. Doctors say the 12-15 year old study used less participants because scientists were able to build upon COVID research learned in previous studies.
The study found the vaccine was “well tolerated” by the age group, with similar side effects to what has been recorded thus far.
Pfizer officials have said the company plans to submit data to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization.
“The bottom line is by the fall, I think there’s a good possibility we’ll be vaccinating teens,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, “For Middle School, Junior High, and High School students, it’s really good news.”
Doctors are telling parents of younger children to consult with your child’s pediatrician now that the vaccine eligibility could expand and see the data as a sign of hope.
“The shot in the arm is going to be what moves us from the darkness of the last 12 months or so into the daylight that lies ahead, but we all have to do our part and that includes children and adolescents,” said Dr. Kimberlin.
If the FDA approves the request, an additional advisory panel - ACIP - will review the data for use, followed by the CDC, and then state health officials would weigh in on use and distribution in Alabama.