FDA authorizes Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Enlarge / An illustration image demonstrates vials with COVID-19 Vaccine stickers connected, with the emblem of US pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer, on November 17, 2020.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents among the ages of 12 to 15, the company announced Monday evening.

In the announcement, acting Food and drug administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock called the authorization “a major action in the battle towards the COVID-19 pandemic” that will convey the place “closer to returning to a feeling of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.”

Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Heart for Biologics Analysis and Analysis, echoed that sentiment. He known as the means to vaccinate youngsters and teens “a critical step” in the struggle towards COVID-19.

Both equally Marks and Woodcock emphasized the agency’s demanding data critique that led to the authorization.

“With science guiding our analysis and final decision-building procedure, the Fda can guarantee the public and health-related community that the obtainable data meet our demanding specifications to assistance the unexpected emergency use of this vaccine in the adolescent population 12 decades of age and older,” Marks said.

The authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the adolescent team was broadly anticipated. It follows an announcement from the two corporations on March 31 which declared that the vaccine completely protected 12- to 15-yr-olds against COVID-19 in a smaller Period III clinical demo involving 2,260-adolescents.

Demo data

In the demo, 1,131 adolescents been given the vaccine while the other 1,129 received a placebo. The Fda concentrated on individuals who had no proof of getting infected by the pandemic coronavirus prior to the trial, leaving the agency with 1,005 vaccinated adolescents and 978 adolescents offered a placebo. The Fda noted 16 cases in the demo, all of them in the placebo group. “The vaccine was 100% powerful in avoiding COVID-19,” the company announced. Also, in a smaller sized sampling, those in the vaccinated team appeared to create neutralizing antibodies at increased degrees than people noticed earlier in people today ages 16 to 25, Pfizer pointed out in March.

The vaccine also appeared to be tolerated by the adolescents. The most commonly described side results bundled suffering at the injection web page, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle soreness, fever and joint agony, all of which tended to take place inside of a single to 3 days immediately after vaccination.

Like in more mature age groups, the Food and drug administration claims that folks with a background of serious allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, need to not get the vaccine.

Now that the Fda has granted authorization, a committee of independent advisors for the Centers for Disease Command and Prevention will review the facts on the vaccine in this age group and vote on policy suggestions for use. The committee—the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—has now established a assembly for Wednesday, Might 12, to vote on their recommendations. If the CDC accepts the committee’s recommendations—which it very likely will—vaccinations could become offered for adolescents as early as Thursday.

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