Pfizer to expand its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials to include children 12-15
Rockland-based Pfizer is expanding its clinical trials to now include those 12 to 15 years old.
Pfizer tells News 12 that more than 2,000 children ages 12 to 15 are now part of its latest trial of the COVID-19 vaccine.
There are 155 clinical trial sites around the world, including seven of them in the state of New York.
According to Pfizer, they are at Meridian Clinical Research in Binghamton and Endwell, NYU Langone Health and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, Rochester Clinical Research and Rochester Regional Health, and SUNY Upstate Medical University.
The FDA's emergency use authorization allows the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to those 16 and over.
There's currently no vaccination in the United States that children can get.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Sandra Kesh says this could be a gamechanger in getting parents back to work and kids in school - for good.
"The reality is that the only way we'll get back to schools being fully normal is to have, you know, the teachers and the students vaccinated. So, the fact that Pfizer has now completed enrollment for over 2,000 children ages 12 to 15 and is really going to start looking more carefully at that particular cohort, is very promising news," says Kesh.
According to CDC data, children ages 17 and youngerand younger tend to have fewer reported COVID-19 cases than adults, but they have been following the same spike in cases since September.
"They can bring the infection home to their parents and grandparents where you see much more severe disease potentially," says Kesh.
Pfizer also says it is planning to study the vaccine in other populations, including children under 12 years old and in pregnant women.