On Wednesday, Canada became the first to authorize the Pfizer vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 years.
In January, Pfizer began testing its vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 years. The clinical trial, which recruited over 2,000 children, aimed to test the vaccine’s efficacy in this particular age group. In early April, the vaccine maker released their trial results; revealing a 100% vaccine efficacy. They soon applied for authorization at health ministries around the world, including the US. Now, Canada has become the first country to approve the Pfizer vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 15 years.
The decision was not only based on the data from the clinical trial, but also the absence of any severe side effects in the vaccine group. Researchers reported that most side effects were mild and included either a fever, chills or soreness at the site of vaccination. Moreover, the vaccine caused a strong immune response in children, stronger than that observed in 16 to 25 year olds.
Despite the approval, the delay in vaccine supply will likely hamper the rollout in the younger age group. The Public Health Agency of Canada is expected to determine the distribution of Pfizer vaccine across the country’s various provinces and territories.
FDA’s Approval Expected Next Week
Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union are also reviewing Pfizer’s clinical trial data. FDA plans to announce their decision by early next week.
Although the risk of infection and complications in children is lower, they form a significant part of the population. Therefore, vaccinating them can help achieve herd immunity faster. Additionally, as schools prepare to open, vaccination will help communities return to a state of partial, if not complete, normalcy.