Covid vaccine for adolescents: the green light

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Philippe Gloaguen
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To date, there are globally 168.040.871 Covid cases confirmed in the world since the beginning of the pandemic. With the country that is slowly returning to the white zone, however, we must not let our guard down too much. About one in five Del Paeseno has completed the vaccination cycle against Covid-19, for a total of 11.871.163 people fully covered. The doses administered are almost 34 million and a half, out of 36.702.939 drugs delivered. The most virtuous region is Umbria. However, if you look at the absolute numbers, Lombardy, Lazio and Marche are in the lead for administrations.



And now the vaccination campaign will start for the youngest too. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved Pfizer as an anti Covid vaccine also for the adolescent group (12-15 years). For adolescents the vaccine is safe, 100% effective and almost twice as powerful as for the 16-25 year old group and so the technical scientific commission of Aifa, the Del Paesena drug agency, approved theextension of indication of use of the Comirnaty vaccine produced by Pfizer for the age group between 12 and 15 years.



In this article

  • Adolescent covid vaccine: Pfizer
  • The side effects
  • Adolescent covid vaccine: the others
  • The importance of the vaccine in children

 



Read also: Covid vaccine and children: what we know

Adolescent covid vaccine: Pfizer

On Monday, May 11, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 in adolescents aged 12 to 15 years. The decision was made on the basis of data from a clinical trial conducted on over 2.200 children between the ages of 12 and 15, which confirmed avaccine efficacy comparable, if not superior, to that demonstrated in adults. 



The Phase 3 study that led to the vaccine being approved in adolescents involved 2.260 boys between the ages of 12 and 15, half of whom received the vaccine and half received placebo. The results obtained leave no doubt: Seven days after the second dose, there were 18 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 infection in the control group and none among the vaccinated, demonstrating a vaccine efficacy equal to 100%. To confirm this result, the immune response, measured by determining the level of antibodies in the vaccinated, was found to be high and in line with that obtained in adults. THEThe vaccine was 100% effective and produced a greater immune response than the previously studied group 16-25 with a 1,8-fold greater amount of neutralizing antibodies produced.

The side effects

Good news also with regard to side effects, which in fact fall into the category of mild and moderate effectsThese are:

  • fever
  • pain at the injection site
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle and joint pain

Adolescent covid vaccine: the others

Pfizer initiated a plan of clinical development with the goal to obtain approval for the administration of his vaccine up to 6 months of life. The plan includes three different trials in three different age groups:

  • 5 11-years
  • 2 5-years 
  • 6 months-2 years

and the results should arrive in a few months. After Pfizer, related studies are also coming from Modern, which in the United States has started a trial on 3 children between 12 and 17 years and a second study (called "KidCove") on 6.750 children from 6 months to 11 years. Also Johnson & Johnson has started to test its single-dose on children (among the selected centers there is also the Buzzi hospital in our city).

The importance of the vaccine in children

While it is true that children and young people get sick less from Covid, the long-term effect is not known, so it is important to protect them from possible risks. On the other hand, there is the fact that, even if they take it in a mild form, they then act as an intermediary and  they can transmit the virus to those around them. It is therefore essential to reduce the total number of infections and slow down the circulation of the virus, thus also reducing the individual risk of contracting the disease. In the end, curbing the spread of the virus among young people will also serve to control and prevent the development of new variants.

Article sources: salute.gov, pfizer, ema, aifa

TAG:
  • coronavirus
  • vaccinations for children
  • teens
  • adolescent health
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