The COVID- 19 pandemic has taken the world by surprise. As a result, it has created a great public health burden. In an effort to fight the disease, Pfizer-BioNTech is one of several pharmaceutical companies to create a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 has affected all age groups and within the span of one year, approximately 1.5 million positive COVID- 19 cases were reported for individuals ages 12 through 15. Due to the large numbers, the FDA recently amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer vaccine. This amendment expanded the availability of the vaccine to adolescents ages 12 through 15 years old.
Vaccine for Adolescents
Adolescents receive the same dosing as individuals ages 16 years and older. This includes the administration of the vaccine in two doses that are three weeks apart. As of now, the current benefits of the vaccine outweigh the known risks.
FDA Approves the Use of Vaccine to Fight Against COVID- 19
Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research states, “Having a vaccine authorized for a younger population is a critical step in continuing to lessen the immense public health burden caused by the COVID- 19 Pandemic.”
The methods used to authorize the emergency use of a vaccine can be a lengthy process. However, the efforts put into obtaining speedy authorization reflect the motive to ensure that the population’s safety is a top priority.
The randomized, placebo controlled clinical trial included 2,260 participants between the ages of 12 and 15. In the trial, half of the participants received the vaccine while the other half received the placebo. After the second dose of the vaccine, participants were followed to ensure the safety of the individuals.
The FDA used the data collected to compare to other clinical trials. These other trials included populations of 16 years and older. The side effects reported for participants 12 through 15 were the same as those in compared trials. In addition, there was no demonstrated difference between effectiveness in preventing COVID- 19 between trials.
Future of Pfizer Vaccine
The Pfizer vaccine must continually meet certain standards. Above all, the vaccine must prove to protect the public. Pfizer Inc. shared their plan to monitor the vaccine to align with these requests. For instance, they will identify and report any health and safety concerns. However, it is still unknown how long the vaccine will be effective for.
To conclude, continuing to vaccinate the population is necessary. This would allow the world to return to a sense of normalcy. In addition, the vaccine will provide the necessary protection to prevent the spread of COVID- 19. Most importantly, it will provide great health protection for the population.
U.S Food and Drug Administration (2021, May 10). Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Adolescents in Another Important Action in Fight Against Pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-emergency-use