This Wednesday pharmaceutical company Pfizer has announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strong protective in kids as young as 12. This could lead to immunization for a new age group before the beginning of the school year.
As of now, there hasn’t been a vaccine approved for children or teens, all vaccines available and approved by the FDA are for 16 years and older, but this doesn’t mean children can’t contract COVID-19.
Children represent about 13% of COVID-19 cases documented in the U.S. And while children are far less likely than adults to get seriously ill, at least 268 have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. alone and more than 13,500 have been hospitalized, according to a tally by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Pfizer is planning to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European regulators to allow emergency use of the shots starting at age 12.
“We share the urgency to expand the use of our vaccine, the hope of starting to vaccinate this age group before the start of the next school year,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
Another pharmaceutical company seeking to lower age restrictions is Moderna, which is also conducting a study for its COVID-19 vaccine on teens from 12 years old to 17 years old, results from this study are expected soon to be released.