With several COVID-19 vaccine trials drawing to a close, many are already projecting a positive outlook in the next few months. Majority of the subjects tested are healthy adults and the results recorded show no signs of alarming side effects. Now, Pfizer announced plans to use its experimental jabs on children as young as 12 years. The pharmaceutical group confirms that they have already secured approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The drugmaker confirmed that there are already parents interested to enroll their kids in the inoculation programme. Once testing begins, it will be the United States' first COVID-19 vaccine trial that involves kids. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Vaccine Research Center director Dr. Robert Frenck shares details about the process.
Pfizer's clinical trials will start with teenagers aged 16 and 17 later this week. Those in the 12 to 15-years age bracket will follow soon thereafter, reports CNN. "We really think a vaccine for adolescents and children is going to be critical for getting Covid under control," according to Frenck. "I think one of the things that is important to remember is that although the death rate for children with Covid is lower than in older adults, it's not zero."
"Most of the time in kids, you have a young kid at home and they have a runny nose, they have a cough -- you are not going to bring them to a doctor," he noted. "And most of the time, what a coronavirus causes is a cold." Experts believe there are more children infected by the 2019 novel coronavirus but might have been inaccurately presented in published reports.
This is likely due to how symptoms develop in younger patients. Therefore, there is a likelihood that children can unintentionally spread SARS-CoV-2 to folks who are more susceptible to severe symptoms after infection. These include health workers, parents, grandparents, and other children as well.
Pfizer is developing the vaccine together with BioNTech. So far, among those who were given the jab, major complaints only include pain within the injection area, fever, headaches, and chills among others. Meanwhile, blood samples taken from volunteers reportedly show the presence of antibodies that would fight against the infection.