The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has just approved Pfizer as a Covid vaccine also for the adolescent range (12-15 years) and just today they came out in the scientific journal NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine) the results of Pfizer’s vaccine trials on children, anticipated some time ago by the pharmaceutical company, but not yet official.
For adolescents, the vaccine safe, 100% effective it’s almost twice as powerful than for the 16-25 year old group.
No serious adverse events
The trial, conducted in the US and Germany on 2,260 adolescents divided into two groups (receiving the vaccine or a placebo), showed an excellent safety profile for the Pfizer vaccine: there were no serious adverse events related to the vaccine and the reactions were always mild to moderate (site pain, fatigue and headache). The vaccine was 100% effective and produced a greater immune response than the group 16-25 previously studied with a quantity produced of neutralizing antibodies greater than 1.8 times. The FDA (Food and drug administration) authorized use for teenagers in mid-May. In Israel, 600 children between the ages of 12 and 16 have already received the first doses of Pfizer / BioNtech, with no serious side effects observed.
After Pfizer, related studies are also coming from Moderna, which in the United States has started the test on 3 thousand children between 12 and 17 years and a second study (called KidCove) on 6,750 children from 6 months to 11 years. Johnson & Johnson has also started testing its single-dose on children (among the selected centers there is also the Buzzi hospital in Milan).
The consequences of Covid on children
The opportunity to vaccinate younger people, who are certainly less at risk for Covid-19, is not just about achieving herd immunity of the population and be able to reopen schools safely in September, but also some medical aspects that directly affect children’s health.
In very rare cases, Covid, in fact, can lead to pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome or to Long Covid. According to a study published a year ago in the scientific journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, although Covid-19 goes almost unnoticed in the majority of the pediatric population, a small percentage (8%) of children infected people develop a form of the disease that requires hospitalization and sometimes even the use of mechanical ventilation. The rare cases -Kawasaki-like inflammation (MIS-C, pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome) that it can affect various organs, particularly the heart, often occurs as a result of undiagnosed asymptomatic infections: 75% of children who developed the syndrome had no symptoms of the coronavirus, and the disease developed weeks after infection. Likewise the aftermath of Covid called Long Covid also affect children: about 11-15% of the positives suffer from it, with more or less serious problems that last months after the primary infection and that often concern, in fact, asymptomatic people after the infection.
Necessary for the community
There is therefore no reason not to vaccinate children, especially if the vaccines that will be approved will have a security profile so good like what is expected from the studies. Finally, vaccinating children serves to protect them against variants, given that the vaccines in use so far are also effective against these, prevents the virus from circulating in bags of susceptible subjects (the vaccine lowers infections) e protects people on whom the vaccine works poorly (such as organ transplant recipients, cancer patients or those with impaired immune responses).
The boys are a fundamental piece for the vaccination campaign and reopening. In Italy, the age 0-18 represents approximately 16% of the general population.
Covid vaccine for adolescents: insights
May 28, 2021 (change May 28, 2021 | 16:41)
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