The State of Israel has announced that it is thinking of administering the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to children aged between 12 to 15 years. The joint vaccine of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech is only awaiting FDA approval for this particular age group, as per the Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein. As of now, it is only the manufacturer who has deemed these shots to be effective and safe for this age group.
Israel has been running a vaccination campaign, which is inoculating the citizens at a world-beating pace. More than half of the 9.3 million residents and citizens in Israel have been given both doses of the vaccine. Consequently, there has been a decline in the number of infections in the country.
Edelstein took to expressing his happiness, stating that this announcement by Pfizer comes as great news, as the country progresses steadily with its vaccination campaign.
He added that the relevant authorities in the country are now waiting for a quick approval from FDA, so that they may procure more doses for the new age group.
The two vaccine developers, on Saturday, made an announcement talking about how their vaccine is effective and safe for 12-to-15-year-olds. They added that it will help this age group in developing robust antibody responses, as well. Currently, they are seeking European and US approval and are expecting it to come within a handful of weeks so that inoculations can be further extended.
These two vaccine developers are well ahead of any other vaccine developer in the West, due to the success of their clinical trials. Therefore, the Chief Executive of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, speculated that approval is likely to come, especially because parents are eager to vaccinate their children at the earliest.
Whether these coronavirus vaccines will work on children and are safe to use on them is one question that has been haunting numerous drugmakers across the world. The inoculation of young people and children is considered to be a critical step in helping any country reach herd immunity. This will also aid in curbing the spread of the virus, and consequently eliminating the pandemic, which has taken over 2.9 million lives already and infected more than 128.3 million people.
It has also been revealed by several research reports that young people are not highly likely to develop any serious symptoms. Moreover, it is plausible that they are asymptomatic, more often than not. Thus, this allows them to transmit the infection on to others without even knowing. This insight was provided by a retired consultant working in communicable disease control, Dr. Peter English.
The BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine has also been approved for people aged 16 or over. The new study has revealed that the vaccine will be just as effective for adolescents as well.
A trial was conducted involving more than 2,000 adolescents, aged between 12 to 15. 18 of these had been diagnosed with the virus and were given a placebo shot. None of these patients was given a vaccine, which resulted in an efficacy of 100%.