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Your Healthy Family: Data Shows COVID-19 Vaccine Effective in Adolescents

Posted at 11:46 AM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 13:46:15-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — 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 who did not take part in the research but also said. “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.

Dr. Sara Saporta-Keating, an infectious disease specialist with Children’s Hospital Colorado, who also was not involved in the study, but commented on it’s findings says, “In the group that got the placebo there were some kids who actually got COVID-19 and in the group who got the vaccine, none of them contracted COVID-19. Looking at those two groups together they were able to see 100% efficacy of the vaccine in that particular age group.”

The data also shows the vaccine appears to be safe and well-tolerated. Both Dr. Sabella, and Dr. Saporta-Keating explains that vaccinating kids is important for us to achieve herd immunity in the fight against COVID-19.

Dr. Sabella says, “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.”

Dr. Saporta-Keating says, “Kids, just like adults can spread the virus so it's important in any situation in public for as many people to be protected as possible. That's one extra layer of infection prevention. We know that kids usually have more mild disease or are more asymptomatic, there are lots of kids who have been hospitalized and there are kids that have died of complications of COVID-19.”

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.