The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for people aged 16 and up, but a new study from the USA shows that the vaccine is also effective for children and adolescents between the ages of twelve and 15.
– It looks like this will be one of the vaccines that first gets a temporary approval for use under 16 years. And of course it is important to have vaccines that can also be used on adolescents and perhaps children. If it turns out necessary to vaccinate this group as well. It is an assessment one must make based on how this disease affects different age groups, says Nakstad to Dagbladet TV.
– 100 percent power
More than 2,200 teenagers were included in the vaccine study. According to Pfizer, their corona vaccine is 100 percent effective on children in this age group and, the company plans to apply for emergency approval for use from 12 to 15 years in the coming weeks. First with the US Food and Drug Administration FDA.
About half of the study participants received the vaccine, while the other group received placebo. According to the company, 18 of the participants in the study, who had received placebo, were diagnosed with the coronavirus.
In the group that received the vaccine, no cases of infection were reported.
In order for Pfizer’s vaccine to be used on children in this age group in Norway, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) must first approve the vaccine. Then it will be up to the Norwegian Medicines Agency and FHI to give the green light.
Much remains to be done
Nakstad emphasizes that it is very important that good studies are carried out.
– This is a vaccine that has already been used many millions of times, and which has temporary approval for use over 16 years. Then it remains to document that there are no problems with side effects and that it also shows a good effect in those under 16, he says.
However, given the race that has been submitted for approval, he has little faith that it will be relevant to start vaccinating this age group before the summer.
– It looks like the race that has been put in place for approval means that this will not be relevant until after the summer. We do not know for sure, but at least it looks like most adults will be offered vaccines towards the summer. In terms of time, this offer may appear after the adults have been vaccinated. But here things change quite quickly in terms of vaccine deliveries as well.
– Good news
– This is good news. Very good, said head of the vaccine program at the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) Geir Bukholm to NTB on Wednesday, after the results from the study became known.
The approval process can take one to two months, according to Bukholm.
– Then children up to the age of twelve will be a group that we will eventually consider including in the vaccination program, he said.
According to FHI’s new progress plan for vaccination in Norway, which was updated on Tuesday, there is now a good chance that everyone over the age of 18 will have been offered the first dose of corona vaccine by mid-July.
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