Pfizer’s Covid paediatric jab needs to win in the home as well as the clinic

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Pfizer and Biontech today revealed a 100% efficacy rate for their Covid-19 vaccine in children aged 12 to 15, and hopes of gaining emergency use authorisation by the start of the school year in September. The news is the latest in the race to get a vaccine into the arms of ever younger individuals; Pfizer and Moderna have announced dose-escalation studies in children aged six months to 11 or 12 years. While impressive, Pfizer’s current results are preliminary and in a relatively small sample, so efficacy could wane. There were also few details on adverse events, something that will be keenly watched in children. But perhaps the bigger question with this and all childhood Covid-19 vaccines is uptake, as administration will require parental consent. Young children with Covid-19 tend to be asymptomatic, so concerned parents, who might have already been vaccinated, may not be willing to expose their children to a new vaccine. There of course will be exceptions, like clinically vulnerable children and those who live with the immunocompromised, but with increasing vaccine hesitancy around routine childhood vaccinations Pfizer and other developers might have to work hard to sell this to some parents.

Commercial studies of Covid-19 vaccines that include paediatrics
Project Sponsor Trial Age Enrolment
Comirnaty (BNT162b2) Biontech/Pfizer NCT04368728 12-adult 43,998
Extension in 12-15 years 2,260
Comirnaty (BNT162b2) Biontech/Pfizer NCT04713553 12-adult 1,530
Comirnaty (BNT162b2) Biontech/Pfizer NCT04816643 6 months - 11 years 4,644
mRNA-1273 Moderna/Barda TeenCove, NCT04649151 12-17 years 3,000
mRNA-1273 Moderna/NIAID/Barda KidCove, NCT04796896 6 months - 12 years 6,750
Nanocovax Nanogen NCT04683484 12-adult 620
SARS-CoV-2 vaccine Sinovac NCT04551547 3-7 years 552
Covaxin (BBV152) Bharat Biotech NCT04471519 12-adult 755
Vaxzevria (AZD1222) Astrazeneca/Oxford Uni COV006 6-17 years 300
Source: Evaluate Pharma & clinicaltrials.gov.

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