The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to be producing a robust immune response in children aged 5 to 11 years.
Announcing results of the vaccine’s clinical trials on Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech said the vaccine was safe and they would seek regulatory approval shortly.
“In participants five to 11 years of age, the vaccine was safe, well tolerated and showed robust neutralising antibody responses,” US company Pfizer and its German partner said in a joint statement.
The companies also informed that they plan to submit data to regulatory bodies in European Union, United States and other countries “as soon as possible.”
Kids who were part of the trial for 5-11 age group received a two-dose regimen of 10 microgrammes, compared to 30 microgrammes for older age groups. Two doses were administered 21 days apart, , the companies said.
About 4,500 children – from 6 months to 11 years — have enrolled for Pfizer-BioNTech trials in the US, Finland, Poland and Spain as Pfizer and BioNTech are conducting trials on kids aged 6 months to 2 years, and on children aged 2 to 5 years also.
These are the first trial results of a vaccine for children below 12 years of age. Moderna’s trial of its vaccine for 6-11 year-olds is underway.
Adolescents above 12 and adults are already being administered the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in many countries.
Children are less vulnerable to contracting coronavirus, but most countries see inoculating kids as a key step to reopening of schools or keeping them open.
“We are eager to extend the protection afforded by the vaccine to this younger population,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. He pointed out that since July, paediatric COVID-19 cases have jumped by 240 per cent in the US.
Pfizer and BioNTech are also trialling their vaccine on infants aged six months to two years, and on children aged two to five.