Pfizer reported several weeks ago that none of the adolescents in the clinical trial who received the vaccine developed symptomatic infections, a sign of significant protection. The company announced in late March that the volunteers produced strong antibody responses and had roughly the same side effects seen in people between the ages of 16 and 25.
“We can assure the public that we are working to review this request as quickly and transparently as possible,” said Stephanie Caccomo, spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration.
More than 100 million adults nationwide have already been fully immunized. But clearance would come in the midst of a delicate and complex push to reach the 44% of adults who have so far hesitated or have not been able to get the vaccine.
As much of the world clamors for a surplus of US-made vaccines, the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in adolescents could also raise the question of whether the supply should be targeted to an age group. which, so far, appears to be largely spared from a serious episode. of Covid-19.
“I think we need to have a national and global conversation about the ethics of our vaccinated children who are at low risk of serious complications from the virus when there are not enough vaccines in the world to protect adults at high risk of dying, ”said Jennifer Nuzzo, epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.