Updated: April 01, 2021 05:35 PM
Created: April 01, 2021 05:29 PM
(ABC 6 News) - What we know so far is the Pfizer vaccine is approved for those 16 and older and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for those 18 and older.
All three vaccine companies have been conducting trials with teenagers and as of this past month, also in children under age 12.
"This week, Pfizer announced some of the preliminary results from their phase 3 trial in adolescents, so 12-15 years of age and the results are really exciting. We're really excited as pediatricians, especially, to see the results that they released," Nipunie Rajapakse, pediatric infectious disease physician at Mayo Clinic Children's Center, said.
The results show the Pfizer vaccine to be 100 percent effective in preventing COVD-19 in adolescents.
"They found very strong, robust antibody levels in the kids who received the vaccine. Even higher than what they saw in the 16 to 25 year age group in the adult trials," Rajapakse said.
The trials have also shown that the side effects that kids ages 12 to 15 experienced were very similar to the mild side effects that have been observed in adults, with no serious side effects noted.
"A 14-month-old's immune system is very different than a 14-year-old's immune system so that's exactly why we're conducting these trials to see how these different immune systems respond," Rajapakse said.
Just in the last couple of weeks, both Moderna and Pfizer announced they're starting trials for kids 6 months to 12 years of age. Those results are not expected until early 2022.
"In the United States, about 25 percent of the population is under 18 years of age. We really won't be able to achieve that without vaccinating young kids," Rajapakse said.
Ending the pandemic really depends on us reaching this concept of herd immunity. Health experts estimate that to be around 70 to 90 percent of people need to be immune for ur to achieve that.
"With this new information from Pfizer, we're really hopeful that it'll go through the FDA process and hopefully we will have vaccine available for the 12 to 15 year age group before the beginning of this next school year. I think that's what we're all really hoping for because that'll help a lot in decreasing cases in schools as well," Rajapakse said.
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