The United States is expected to authorize Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for children over 12 from next week, according to US media.
According to CNN, Pfizer has requested emergency use authorization for its vaccine for children aged 12 to 15. Quoting a government official, CNN explained that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will need to change its regulations on authorizing emergency use of the vaccine. A fairly straightforward process, according to him.
On the other hand, he specifies that extending it to younger children would not be so easy:
“For children over 12, if nothing exceptional is detected, if everything looks the same as for adults, I think there is no need to hold an advisory committee meeting. For younger children, it will certainly have to be considered. ”
In the United States, Pfizer is already authorized for all persons 16 years of age and over. If extended to adolescents, the vaccination campaign could reach millions more.
Conclusive clinical trials, according to Pfizer
According to the “New York Times”, vaccinating children is the key to increasing the level of immunity of the population and therefore reducing the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to Covid-19. This authorization would therefore be a “Big step for the vaccination campaign and a new welcome for anxious parents, who want to protect their children this summer during the holidays and before the start of the next September”, explains the newspaper.
Vaccinate children against Covid-19? Scientists are divided
According to “Le Monde”, the Pfizer laboratory said that clinical trials had shown that the vaccine was safe and produced solid antibodies in 12-15 year olds. The preliminary results of the study published at the end of March by Pfizer, and conducted among 2,260 American volunteers aged 12 to 15, showed that there were no cases of Covid-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents, against eighteen among those who received sham injections. The children had side effects similar to those of young adults, the lab said. The main side effects are pain, fever, chills and fatigue, especially after the second dose.
45% of adults not yet vaccinated
According to official data, the vaccination rate in the United States peaked around April 11, and although 55% of adults have now received one or more doses, there is still a long way to go to achieve herd immunity. , explains AFP.
Among Republican voters, 29% say they will never get vaccinated, compared to 5% of Democrats and 9% of independents, according to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Europe is also considering extending the use of Pfizer to adolescents. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started its assessment with 12-15 year olds. ” The MEA will communicate the results […], expected in June, unless additional information is required ”, she said on May 3.