Pfizer COVID vaccine trials on teens, tweens yield promising results: doctors

Sarah Schulte Image
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Pediatricians encouraged by child COVID vaccine studies
Pediatricians are very encouraged by the results of COVID-19 vaccine trials involving 12-15 year olds.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As adults have been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine for several months, pediatricians are very encouraged by the results of vaccine trials involving 12-15 year olds.

"There were 2,260 kids that were enrolled in the trial and it showed that the vaccine efficacy was 100%," said Dr. Tina Tan, Lurie Children's Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist.

The results are very similar to adult trials, but pediatricians say even better.

"One slight difference is they had antibodies higher levels as result of adults which suggests kids have a very robust immune system and respond to vaccines," said Dr. Julie Holland, Chicagoland Children's Health Alliance.

Doctors said results indicate the vaccine will be safe for all kids, even those with underlying conditions, like 15-year-old Aaron Koppel. Born with a genetic disorder, Aaron is unable to speak or walk.

Not expected to live past 3, it's been too risky for Aaron to go to school, enjoy his regular botanic garden visits or hold his annual big birthday party.

"We have missed that connection for everybody that comes together every year to celebrate my son," said his mother Carolyn Koppel.

Koppel said a vaccine will give Aaron opportunities his needs to keep living.

Pediatricians said the vaccine cannot come soon enough for 12-15 year olds, a population where COVID protocols are not always followed and a group where mental health issues have been on the rise.

"We have taken everything in their lives away from them and you can understand how they want a bit of normalcy back, so hopefully this will get us down the path to do it safely," Dr. Holland said.

If all goes as planned, and the FDA grants Pfizer emergency use, doctors hope 12-15 year olds can get vaccinated by this summer.