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Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine protects kids as young as 12, shots could start by next school year

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Posted at 4:01 AM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 07:18:53-04

Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12.

The findings of Pfizer's trial, released Wednesday, showed that the vaccine recorded 100% efficacy against the virus in 2,260 adolescents aged between 12 and 15.

Of the more than 1,000 participants who received the vaccine, none developed a COVID-19 infection. In the more than 1,000 participants that received a placebo shot, 18 contracted the virus.

“We share the urgency to expand the authorization of our vaccine to use in younger populations and are encouraged by the clinical trial data from adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a press release. “We plan to submit these data to FDA as a proposed amendment to our Emergency Use Authorization in the coming weeks and to other regulators around the world, with the hope of starting to vaccinate this age group before the start of the next school year.”

The announcement Wednesday marks a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before the next school year.

Most COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out worldwide are for adults, who are at higher risk from the coronavirus.

Pfizer’s vaccine is currently authorized for ages 16 and older. But vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to stopping the pandemic.