Pfizer’s vaccine trial for children under 12 has promising results

Syringe and Vaccine by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Syringe and Vaccine” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Pfizer and BioNtech came out with ​​promising results on their Phase 2/3 study for the vaccine for children between ages 5 and 11. 

According to a press release on Sept. 20, the trial showed “robust neutralizing antibody responses in children 5 to 11 years of age using a two-dose regimen of 10 µg (micrograms) administered 21 days apart, a smaller dose than the 30 µg dose used for people 12 and older.” 

The press release also stated that the antibodies produced by the children in this trial with the 10 µg dose were “comparable” to those found in the adult trial with the 30 µg dose.

These results will be vital moving forward, as health officials work to get a vaccine out for this age group and younger. 

The advancements in the vaccination approval process are exciting for many in the Guilford community, including Steve Mencarini, the dean of students and co-chair of the Health and Safety Task Force. 

“I’m encouraged by the results and as we gather more data on the success of the vaccine, the more likely people will feel more comfortable about getting vaccinated,” said Mencarini. “I have two kids, a 12-year-old who is already vaccinated and an 11-year-old who I hope I don’t have to wait for his birthday to vaccinate.” 

Jennie Malboeuf, a visiting professor of English and Creative Writing, is also eager to get her child vaccinated.

“I trust that by the time it will be released it will be safe,” said Malboeuf. “They’ve been testing throughout the past year and half so I don’t think we’re too quick on the draw to release.Kids take vaccines all the time and these are not live vaccines, so I feel pretty safe about it. I understand it makes some folks nervous, but I’d rather my child have the vaccine than be exposed to the virus.” 

The trial results come at a much needed time as COVID-19 cases rise.

“Since July, pediatric cases of COVID-19 have risen by about 240 percent in the U.S.,” the Pfizer and Biotech statement read. “These trial results provide a strong foundation for seeking authorization of our vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old, and we plan to submit them to the FDA and other regulators with urgency.”

The approval of the Pfizer vaccine for this age group could be a next step to normalcy, not just here in the Guilford community, but for the United States as well. 

“In an NPR article, biostatistic modelers have shown the quicker we come off this delta variant wave. the sooner we can go back to normal, and it’s frustrating that we have a tool available to us as a society that will help keep people from unnecessarily dying,” said Mencarini.

Malboeuf agrees, saying: “I think we could be headed to normalcy, but folks are putting up roadblocks for that, but once we’ve been assured that vaccines are safe and seen people take them and they’re fine. I hope more people will get the vaccine because it will save people like senior citizens and people with health problems.” 

There is a long way to go before this pandemic is over, but hopefully, with these results, regular life will be one step closer.