Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has announced that it will begin testing its investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate in children from 12 years. According to the leading researcher of the study, already parents have shown interest in enrolling their children in the test.
Pfizer expands its study population in a late-stage trial
This will be the first COVID-19 Vaccine study that will include children in the US. The drugmaker modified the late-stage study protocol for its CPVID-19 vaccine candidate to include children. The FDA approved adolescents between 12 and 15 years to be included in the company’s global late-stage trials. Initially, the company had planned to test the vaccine in 30,000 subjects but expanded the study group to 44,000 participants in September.
The company increased the number of participants to enhance the diversity of the study population to include patients with chronic, stable HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Considering the companies testing COVID vaccines have promised to enhance diversity, Pfizer’s trial includes several Hispanic, Asian, Black and Native American subject.
Pfizer testing COVID-19 vaccine in teens
Dr. Robert Frenck, the Vaccine Research Centre director at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, said that they will commence vaccination of adolescents of 16 and 17 years of age this week before expanding to include 12-15-year-olds. Frenck said that vaccination of children and adolescents is vital in the fight against COVID-19. He said that although the death rate from COVID-19 in children is low compared to adults, there have been over 500,000 children infected in the US. It is important to note that COVID-19 infection is existent in children.
Pfizer is among the companies racing to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine, with rivals such as AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson also having vaccines in late-stage trials. The company is conducting the trial in four counties that include the US, where it has enrolled most participants. Its vaccines candidate has not shown any alarming adverse events, and according to experts, the expansion to testing the vaccine in children is timely as they get back to school.