A just-completed US trial has found the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is effective in children ages 12 – 15.
Per The Guardian, the trial yielded results that the age group “well-tolerated” the shots. Though already approved for those 16 and above, the new research allows for younger groups to assume normal classroom activity before the 2021-2022 academic year.
The study, which must receive final approval from the USA’s FDA, trialed the drug amongst 2,260 12-15-year-olds. Half received the vaccine and the other half a placebo. Amongst the 2,260, 0 cases were found from the 1,131 who received the vaccine. From the placebo group, 18 cases were found from 1,129 people. Side effects were like those in the 16-25 age group. These include injection-site pain, headaches, fever, and fatigue.
What comes next?
Next comes vaccine trials for even younger children, which began last week. This includes babies, toddlers, and those as young as six months. Aside from Pfizer being effective, other manufacturers are trialing their respective shots with children. Oxford University and AstraZeneca have been researching its effects on children age 6 – 17. Moderna has begun a trial assessing their effectiveness in those six months to 12 years.
In response to the reasoning behind vaccinating such young children, Bristol University professor of pediatrics at Adam Finn says: “The questions that come up is why does that make sense for children given that they very rarely get seriously ill with Covid? I think the best answer to that question is that they all stand to benefit if we can keep schools functioning as they suffer disproportionately from the suspension of their normal educational and social activities.”
What do you think about children, pre-teens, and teenagers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine? There is no word yet on the Netherlands’ official stance. As is when any vaccine option will be available to the age group. In the current Dutch school system, high schools are still on remote learning, with secondary schools open for selective in-person learning.