Pfizer says their covid vaccine is 100% effective in children 12 to 16

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I know I say this all the time but seriously, I was just talking about this. My daughter and I were discussing on Tuesday how she was the only one in our family who would not be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine after April 15 since my son just turned 16. She asked me what was she supposed to do. I was a stumped. We settled on the rest of us providing herd immunity and her age bracket having better odds of not getting sick. Cut to Captain Pfizer flying in with her silver cape to save the day! Pfizer-BioNTech released a statement yesterday that they are seeking Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for their vaccine that has shown a 100% efficacy rate in adolescents 12-15 years old. If approved, they hope to begin vaccination before the start of the next school year.

Children as young as 12 years old may soon be eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine after the company said that it completely prevented COVID-19 illness in a clinical trial.

On Wednesday, Pfizer announced in a press release that their Phase 3 trials in adolescents aged 12 to 15 “demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses,” even “exceeding those recorded earlier in vaccinated participants aged 16 to 25 years old.”

Half of the 2,260 study participants were placed in a placebo group and were given a saline solution, while the other half received the vaccine. In the placebo group, 18 participants contracted COVID-19 while none in the vaccinated group contracted the virus.

Pfizer added that the vaccine was also “well tolerated” by the 12-to-15-year-olds in the vaccinated group, who were a mix of kids who had never contracted COVID-19 and some who had.

As with adults, the vaccine produced a “strong” immune response in children “one month after the second dose,” Pfizer said.

Of the results, Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement that the company “share[s] 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.”

“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,” Bourla added.

[From People]

I am so encouraged by this news. One of the things the medical community keeps coming back to with this coronavirus is that they really don’t know what to expect. That has been proven time and again, first when it returned in people who already had it, then with all the new variants and mutations. We know that children have been less likely to get the virus and they have a better recovery rate. But that may not be the case for all the variants and we have no way of knowing what long term effects this thing will have on anyone. And while the vaccine is great news, proper mask use and social distancing is still necessary to prevent the risk of spreading the virus. That said, according to my kids, everyone on campus is wearing a mask, but no one is maintaining social distancing outside the classrooms, so I am especially happy to hear vaccines will soon be here.

Once this vaccine is rolled out, Pfizer will begin trials for children 5 to 11, according to Harvard. Moderna is currently conducting a study for children from 12 to 17 and another for children aged 6 months to 12 years. I thrilled so many people are getting vaccinated. In my area, they are still being cautious, but the mood is generally lighter. Life is not exactly back to normal, but it’s more buoyant and I can feel the optimism when I’m out and about. This vaccine news will only add to that because it means safer parks, safer classrooms, safer beaches – more spaces we can enjoy outside the home. I swear, I hear Here Comes the Sun on loop in my head these days.

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20 Responses to “Pfizer says their covid vaccine is 100% effective in children 12 to 16”

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  1. El says:

    I’m excited about this news too as I have three boys 5, 9, and 12. One point Dr. Hotel made on RV last night is that though these results are great this is a small study and they tested for symptomatic not a symptomatic cases. It is still great and we are planning to vaccinate our children, but I worry a bit about the focus on 100% efficacy in all the headlines I see this morning. It is likely still sky high but a little lower. I paper is the that you copied the text of the study as well so we can read the details past the headline.

  2. Ashley says:

    I was so relieved when I saw this in NYT! I would definitely prefer it if all three of my kids could be vaccinated, but the one I worry about most is my 14yo because he’s had asthma off and on, and it seems that teens react to the virus more like adults do (more severe illness). Yay science!

  3. Scal says:

    So I’m not anti-vax by any means (my kids are all vaccinated, Partner and I both have the Pfizer vax)-but does 2,300 kids seem like a really small sample size to anyone else? How does one get reliable data from a group that small?

    • Noodle says:

      @scal, sample size depends on a lot of factors. In a wide scale study like this and the potential for how many kids would eventually receive the vaccine, yes, it is small. That said, a lot depends on how representative that sample is (are multiple factors taken into account – like race, general health, etc?) as well as the guidelines set forth by the FDA for sampling. Because it’s concerning children, they may have had to keep the sample size small, not wanting to negatively impact a large population in case there were negative affects from the vaccine. Once smaller trials are successful, sometimes trials will expand to include more subjects.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      Remember, while the N seems small compared to the sample size in adult trials & the 16-25 age group, the 2,300 participants are just those in the 12-15 age group. (for comparison, the quadrivalent flu vaccine studies had 2738 participants aged 3-17. There’s also a certain amount of extrapolation that can be done from the data in subjects 16 and older. The immune response was actually more robust in the 12-15 age group than it was in the 16-25 age group, and it was as well tolerated in the younger group as in the older groups.

      (by the way, as someone who’s been working in clinical research for 20+ years, I’m giggling at the notion that 2300 is a small sample size for one study)

      • Noodle says:

        @pottymouthpup, thank you for weighing in. My background in research and stats does not extend to medical research, specifically, and I appreciate your sharing your expertise. It’s amazing what backgrounds are represented by all of us on the site; I’m pretty sure we could take over almost all fields of study if we organized!

  4. Becks1 says:

    I am SO EXCITED. My kids are younger (6 and 9) so they have a while to go but the more kids that are vaccinated, the better off we all are.

    I have relaxed somewhat with the vaccine rollout, but there are still things that I dont want to do – visit the local aquarium, that just seems like too enclosed a space for my comfort level, or go to the local dine and play place (you know, one of those places with bowling alleys and arcades and a small restaurant) and as kids start to get the vaccine, even 16 years old and up, i’m going to feel so much more comfortable doing that kind of stuff again.

  5. Snuffles says:

    I have 12 and 14 year old nephews that live nearby. I’m hoping they can get vaccinated before the holidays so the whole family can gather comfortably.

  6. Christine says:

    I actually teared up yesterday when I saw that a headline. I have two boys, ages 10 & 14, and my oldest is medically complicated (one kidney). We don’t know what Covid is going to do to him, ya know? This is one step closer….

  7. FHMom says:

    My 15 year old will be the only unvaccinated member of my family soon. I’m excited for him to be eligible. However, can someone tell me why people are claiming that Pfizer/Moderna can cause infertility. I know these are anti-vaxxers, but it’s still worrying me. I also have daughters.

  8. pottymouth pup says:

    Pfizer’s trials in younger children have already started. You can find the listings of studies that are already recruiting as well as some that aren’t yet recruiting on clinicaltrials.gov (the search below is for US sites but for those of you outside the US, you can change the geographic location if you do a search)

    https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=vaccine&cond=Covid19&cntry=US&recrs=b&recrs=a&age_v=&age=0&gndr=&type=&rslt=&Search=Apply

    if you have younger kids that you want to get vaccinated sooner rather than later, check to see if there’s a study site near you to see if your child(ren) are eligible to participate/schedule screening for a trial.

  9. Watson says:

    This news makes me feel relieved.

  10. MaryContrary says:

    My youngest is 12-and he’s the only one of us not vaccinated yet. I cannot wait for him to be able to get the shots. Our family has gone nowhere and done nothing this entire year-I can’t wait to feel like we can all start to have a semblance of a normal life of hanging out with friends, going to school, seeing my parents. I have been homeschooling my son this entire year-and I look forward to the fall and sending him up to middle school!

    • FHMom says:

      Me, too. My son is about to have his 2nd pandemic birthday. I am longing to go somewhere fun

      • MaryContrary says:

        Yes! My poor 16 year old-his birthday is next Tuesday: his second quarantine birthday. We joked last year that we’d make it up to him this year. Who would have thought?!!!

  11. Mina_Esq says:

    Incredible! Pfizer has been killing it with their vaccine. First we get long-haulers reporting that it alleviates their symptoms, and now 100% effective with the kiddos. I’m so happy that my mom got Pfizer.