Could Children Ages 12-15 Get the Vaccine?


“Syringe and Vaccine” by NIAID is licensed with CC BY 2.0.

By: Aurora Ayala, Journalist

On April 9th, Pfizer requested the FDA to modify their EUA (emergency use authorization) so that teens ages 12-15 could get the vaccine as well.  The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was originally approved with an EUA last year for people 16+ years old.

The trials showed promising results; “In participants aged 12-15 years old, BNT162b2 [the vaccine] demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses, exceeding those reported in a trial of vaccinated 16-25-year-old participants in an earlier analysis,” according to Pfizer.  The trial enrolled 2,260 adolescents, with 18 cases of Covid present in the placebo group (1,129 teens) and no cases in the test group (1,131 teens).

The FDA is expected to decide in a few weeks if the results are reliable and seem to be consistent with the adult trials. After that, the goal is to get teens vaccinated, hopefully before the upcoming school year, and Pfizer has already started their trial for kids from 6 months to 11 years old.

Pfizer is the only approved vaccine for people ages 16+, whereas Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are approved for people ages 18+.  Moderna has ongoing trials that started in December that test their vaccine on adolescents ages 12-17, and Johnson & Johnson is undergoing trials.

If the vaccine is approved, it would mean that we are one step closer to the end of the pandemic and one step closer to life without masks and distancing.