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Pfizer has started testing its Covid-19 vaccine in young children

Pfizer said on Thursday it had started clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine in children under the age of 11, saying it hoped it would be available to them in early 2022. “We gave the first doses to children ( …) in order to assess the safety, how it is tolerated, and the immunogenicity of the vaccine (…) to prevent Covid-19 in children from 6 months to 11 years old “, confirmed the American company. Immunogenicity is the ability to trigger an immune response.

Three different dosages studied

Three different strengths will be investigated first, according to clinical trial details published online. “We hope the vaccine can be made available to these younger children by early 2022,” Pfizer added. “We are proud to be able to start this much needed study for children and families eagerly awaiting an option” to get vaccinated. Pfizer / BioNTech’s vaccine is currently given to people 16 years of age and over, in countries where it is authorized.

It is also being studied in more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15, trials whose results Pfizer hopes to share “soon,” the company added. Last week, the American biotechnology company Moderna also announced that it had started trials of its own vaccine against Covid-19 on thousands of children aged 6 months to 11 years. Children are less exposed to severe cases of the disease, while transmitting it less for the youngest of them (under 10 years). Their vaccination has therefore not been a priority for the moment.

Vaccination of children, essential to achieve collective immunity

But a small portion can still get seriously ill, or develop what researchers have called multisystem childhood inflammatory syndrome. Several hundred have died from Covid-19. In addition, children represent a large part of the population, which will probably also need to be vaccinated in order to achieve collective immunity, experts say. Those under the age of 18, for example, make up about a fifth of the American population.

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