US pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. announced today that it will begin clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine in a larger group of children under the age of 12 after choosing to use a lower dose of the vaccine at an earlier stage of the clinical trial.
The study will involve up to 4,500 children in more than 90 clinics in the United States, Finland, Poland and Spain, the company said. Based on the safety, tolerance and immune response developed by 144 children in the phase 1 clinical trial of the two-dose vaccine, Pfizer said it would test a dose of 10 micrograms in children aged 5 to 11 years and 3 micrograms for age. group of 6 months to 5 years.
The vaccine – developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech – has been approved for use in children as young as 12 years old in Europe, the US and Canada. Children receive the same dose as adults: 30 micrograms.
Nearly 7 million teens have received at least one dose of the vaccine in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccination of children and young people is considered a crucial step on the road to achieving “herd immunity” and eradicating the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, scientists in the United States and elsewhere are studying the possibility of a link between myocarditis after receiving mRNA vaccines, especially in young people. Both Pfizer and Moderna Inc. vaccines is mRNA technology.
The Israeli Ministry of Health announced last week that it had identified a small number of cases of inflammation of the heart muscle in people vaccinated with Pfizer for Covid-19, mainly in young men, a condition that may be linked to the vaccine. The incidents were generally mild and short-lived. Pfizer said it was aware of Israeli records of myocarditis and that no causal link had been established with the vaccine.