Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) have received approval from the FDA to test their COVID-19 vaccine candidate in children beginning from 12 years. According to the trial’s lead researcher already parents have shown interest in enrolling children in the study.
Pfizer and BioNTech start testing COVID-19 vaccine in kids
The trial’s expansion to include kids comes at the back of other drugmakers pausing trials for their candidates. Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) paused its antibody treatment because of safety concerns whole Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) stopped trials for their vaccine candidate. Pfizer will be the first company to get approval to test a COVID-19 vaccine in children in the US.
Currently, BNT162b2, a vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and Germany-based BioNTech, is being tested globally. Results of the evaluation of BNT162b2 in Phase 1 showed that the vaccine candidate can create a balance of immunogenicity and reactogenicity. Data from the Phase 1 trial was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Vaccination of teenagers aged 16 and 17 has commenced at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. According to Dr. Robert Frenck, the hospital’s Vaccine Research Centre director, expansion of vaccination of children aged 12-15 years is expected later. Other sites are also expected to enroll kids.
Frenck said that children and adolescents’ vaccination is very important in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because despite the mortality rate in children being lower relative to adults, millions of children have contracted the virus and can spread it to vulnerable people like the ages.
Pfizer expands Phase 3 trials
Pfizer is one of the companies that have advanced its COVID-19 into late-stage clinical trials in the US. The company initially targeted 30,000 participants in the late-stage trial before expanding it to 44,000 participants to include populations that are usually not included in vaccine and drug trials, such as Hispanics, Native Americans, Blacks, and the elderly. So far, over 31,000 participants have received the second of the two jabs.