Austin adolescents in Pfizer vaccine study showing promising results
AUSTIN, Texas - Pfizer announced their COVID-19 vaccine trial of children 12 to 15 years old has shown 100 percent efficacy so far.
So far, vaccines have not been available to children under 16 years old, except those who joined the Pfizer study last year. The 2,260 adolescents who signed up included patients of Austin Regional Clinic.
"ARC had about 5 percent of that enrollment. So 5 percent of those in the study came through ARC, from the community here from Austin," said Dr. Anas Daghestani, CEO of Austin Regional Clinic.
Wednesday, Pfizer said the results of the study have exceeded expectations. So far, none of the participants who got the vaccine were infected with COVID.
Pfizer said they will submit the data to the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks, with hopes of approval to start vaccinating adolescents in that age group before the next school year.
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The majority of parents who responded to FOX 7 Austin online said they plan to vaccinate their children, even though kids are less likely to suffer complications from the virus itself.
"We hear a lot, and it's true, that children at that age do very well, but, I just looked at the Travis County dashboard earlier today, 2 percent of the hospitalizations were in that age group in children. So yes, they do very, very well, but some still get sick," Daghestani said.
Doctors agree vaccinating children is an important piece of reaching herd immunity, so every time younger age groups are included in vaccine studies, it's one step closer to beating the virus for good.
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"The more virus is around, the more likely it is to mutate and come up with more ideas to have to get us sick. The less virus around, the less likely it is for it to learn and be creative and evade our immune system or the vaccine," said Daghestani.
Last week, Pfizer began testing their vaccine on children 5 to 11 years old and the company has plans to include children as young as 6 months as trials continue. Results from those studies are expected to be available later this year.