- Pfizer said – in a trial of 2,000 children 5-11, it was found that low doses produce good immunity
- Jabs are expected to roll out to elementary school-aged children in the US by Halloween
- The UK has started enrolling healthy children in the age group of 12 to 15 years from today.
Fourteen-year-old Jack Lane today became one of the first to benefit from the expansion of Britain’s jab rollout. He received his vaccinations at Belfair Academy in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
Pfizer will push to get its COVID vaccine approved for children under the age of five, the company announced today – as Britain begins injecting healthy 12 to 15-year-olds with the jab for the first time.
The pharmaceutical giant said a trial of nearly 2,000 children aged five to 11 years found that low doses of the vaccine produced a strong immune response and posed no safety concerns.
US officials are set to review the data in the coming weeks and decide whether to roll out the vaccine to pre-teens in October, with Pfizer also planning to seek authorization in Europe and the UK.
Pfizer’s trial looked at antibody levels in the blood of primary school-aged children to gauge their immune response, in contrast to larger trials of older participants, which compared COVID cases in the vaccine and control groups.
A spokeswoman said the company could reveal the vaccine’s effectiveness from a later trial but that not enough infections have yet occurred among volunteers.
Pfizer is also testing its vaccines on children under six months of age and expects the results of that study to be available by the winter, which is likely to spark international controversy.
While the US is expected to open up vaccination programs to youth groups, at this stage the jab is unlikely to see the same wide acceptance as in the UK, which has just started immunizing healthy children 12 years of age and older today.
Dr David Elliman, a pediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, said he ‘cannot imagine’ that the jab has been approved for primary school-aged children in the UK.
A single dose of Pfizer’s vaccine is currently being used on Britons aged 12 to 15 in hopes that the roll-out will prevent further disruptions to their education, even though UK officials say direct The health benefits are only ‘modest’.
Parental consent is being sought, but children can rule out parents who do not want them to be deemed ‘competent’, a move that has sparked controversy. More than 3 million under-16s are eligible for the vaccine and ministers expect at least 60 percent to accept the offer.
Jack Lane, 14, was one of the first to be vaccinated in England, as part of the expanded rollout. After getting my vaccine at Leigh-on-Sea in Essex this morning, he said: ‘I’m proud to have my vaccinations so I can stay in school and continue my education – the jab was fast, easy and painless. ‘
Fifteen-year-old Quinn Fox receiving a COVID-19 vaccination at Belfair Academy in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
Earlier this month the JCVI said it cannot recommend COVID jobs for healthy children aged 12 to 15 because the direct benefit to their health was modest. It also looked at the risk of health inflammation – known as myocarditis – in young people given the Pfizer vaccine, which was still very small but slightly more common after the second dose.
Pfizer announced on Monday that its COVID vaccine is safe for children aged five to 11
The vaccine, made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, is currently available to people 12 years of age and older.
But firms say the delta variant and the sharp rise in pediatric cases in the US justified the jab rolling to younger groups.
For its latest study, Pfizer gave 2,268 children aged five to 11 years two shots of a low dose of the vaccine.
The youth were given 10 micrograms in each of their two injections — a third of the dose given to children older than 12.
After their second dose, children showed strong levels of COVID-fighting antibodies as teenagers and young adults, said a press release today. The full results have not been made public yet.
The low dose also proved safe, with similar or less temporary side effects — such as sore throat, fever or pain — that teens experience, the company said.
Albert Boerla, chief executive of Pfizer, said: ‘We look forward to expanding the protection afforded by the vaccine to this young population, subject to regulatory authority, particularly as we track the spread of the delta variant and This is a substantial danger to children.
Revealed: Logistics of vaccination of over 12 in schools
How will this work?
The NHS has already been asked to prepare for COVID vaccines for 3 million 12 to 15 year olds.
The doses will mostly be administered through the School Immunization Program, which administers HPV and flu vaccinations to schools each year.
Official statistics show that about 90 percent of children are offered the HPV vaccine each year.
Children are likely to receive their vaccines in appropriate areas such as school halls. They will be distributed by nurses, health support workers and administrative staff.
Parents are set to receive a letter disclosing plans to respond to children in the coming days, No. 10 Vaccine Minister Nadim Zahvi revealed today. They will also be asked to give consent for their child receiving the vaccine.
Will it require parental consent?
Under-16s are not considered legally competent to make decisions about their health care and, therefore, should they get the Covid jab.
But courts have previously ruled that Under-16s are competent to consent to an intervention if they have ‘sufficient understanding and intelligence to fully understand what is proposed’.
This is known as the ‘Gillik test’, and has been in place since the 1980s.
The test is usually performed by a medical professional or nurse, who assesses the child’s maturity, and their understanding of the advantages, disadvantages, and potential long-term effects of vaccination. They…