With more and more of the population eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s a little easier to feel hopeful about the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel we’ve been fantasizing about for the last few years. And as we’re heading into cooler months where indoor spread of the virus will see an uptick (particularly among the unvaccinated populations) and as in-person schooling continues, any comfort we can get that our kids are as protected as they can be is essential.
So that’s why Pfizer’s announcement of the latest data from their study of their coronavirus mRNA vaccine in tweens and tweens from 12 to 15 couldn’t have come at a better time.
Per a Monday release from Pfizer-BioNTech, their vaccine demonstrated “100 percent efficacy against COVID-19 in longer-term analysis, with no serious safety concerns identified.”
The findings from this phase three trial showed that the two-dose series given to this age group saw full protection for those who received it from seven days through over four months after the second dose. Likewise, they saw that there were no serious safety concerns observed within six months for those who received their second dose.
“As the global health community works to increase the number of vaccinated people around the world, these additional data provide further confidence in our vaccine’s safety and effectiveness profile in adolescents. This is especially important as we see rates of COVID-19 climbing in this age group in some regions, while vaccine uptake has slowed,” Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer, said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing these data with the FDA and other regulators.”
The longer-term data is important for researchers who are looking to expand approval of the vaccine for this demo — allowing it to go beyond the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) currently granted as of May. And for families with teenagers and tweens under their roofs it represents a hope that their kids can resume more parts of “normal” lives — from socializing to sports to feeling comfortable at school again — without as much anxiety. And given the behavioral risks of this demographic (maybe more prone to take risks, not move with as much caution as adults) the high numbers are even more reassuring.
Per Pfizer, the analysis of these trials includes data collected from November 2020 to September 2021. Looking at 2,228 trial participants (with a number given the above dosage of the vaccine and others given the placebo), they found that there were only 30 confirmed cases of symptomatic COVID-19 and all 30 were from the placebo group. They also note that this high efficacy stayed consistent across gender, race, ethinic backgrounds and regardless of comorbidity status.
Though experts are already overwhelmingly in support of all eligible people (kids, teens, parents, pregnant folks, the elderly, etc.) getting vaccinated, the more concrete data we get on the efficacy of vaccines, the easier it will be to assure the stragglers who are still “holding out for more information” on vaccines and get more of the population protected.
Before you go, check out our favorite all-natural cold and cough remedies for kids: