CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Pfizer announced Wednesday its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and protective in kids as young as 12, a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before they head back to school in the fall.
In the vaccine study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12-15, preliminary data showed there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared to 18 among those given placebo shots, Pfizer reported.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is participating in the clinical trails and started studying kids from ages 5-11 earlier this week.
Dr. Robert Frenck, director of the Gamble Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s, believes there are significant results from Pfizer’s findings.
“There was so much COVID in the United States in adolescents that we were able to get results about efficacy at only 3,000, where we had to have 30,000 in adults,” said Frenck.
“I was not at all expecting efficacy results,” he added. “I was really expecting that all we’re going to be able to see is compare the immune response.”
Cincinnati Children’s inoculated the first children ages 5-11 as part of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial Monday.
The hospital is starting with a small number of volunteers for the Phase 1 study to determine the best dosage of the Pfizer vaccine for that age group. It’s one of four sites in the country that will participate in this trial.
The study will focus on safety, immune response and whether there are any side effects. It will be the same type of vaccine as administered to adolescents and adults, but this trial will start with a smaller dosage.
Frenck said the next phase will move down to eight children in the 2-4 age group. Currently, more than 1,200 volunteers are participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials at Cincinnati Children’s, including more than 300 adolescents.
Kately Evans, 17, is one of the hundreds of adolescents to take part in the trial.
She says to be part of something like this is important.
Pfizer now says its vaccine is 91% effective against COVID-19 for up to six months after both doses.
“I mean, that’s really exciting,” Evans said. “That’s great to feel like I was a part of something that big and that important and I love hearing all of the numbers about how effective it is and how much it’s helping people.”
Evans was the first adolescent patient to receive the vaccine in Cincinnati Children’s trial.
Pfizer’s phase three trial shows the vaccine is 100% effective against the South Africa variant, according to the company.
Learn more by visiting the Cincinnati Children’s Vaccine Resources site at: Vaccine Resources | Cincinnati Children’s [cincinnatichildrens.org]
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click here to report it. Please include title of story.