Data Shows COVID-19 Vaccine Effective in Adolescents

Camille Sabella, MD, comments on new data showing the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is effective in children 12-15 years old.

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CLEVELAND – Data released by Pfizer and BioNTech suggests their COVID-19 vaccine is effective in children between the ages of 12 and 15.

“It looks like the Pfizer vaccine for children and adolescents, 12-15 years of age, elicited excellent antibody responses,” said Camille Sabella, MD, an infectious disease specialist with Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “And it looks like in their trial, 100% of children responded positively with good antibody responses to the vaccine.”

The trial studied more than 2,000 adolescents. Some received the COVID-19 vaccine, while others received a placebo. Results show none of the vaccine recipients contracted coronavirus. The data also shows the vaccine appears to be safe and well-tolerated.

Dr. Sabella did not take part in the research but said vaccinating kids is important for us to achieve herd immunity in the fight against COVID-19.

“While children really have had very mild problems from COVID, and in many instances become infected without any significant symptoms, they can still transmit the virus,” he said. “And it will be important to protect them as well, because keeping them unprotected will still leave virus circulating among the population.”

In the weeks ahead, the companies plan to present their data to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization in children ages 12-15. The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is currently authorized for use by people 16 and older.

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