What are the recommendations and availability for COVID-19 vaccination in adolescents and children?

Updated: Sep 24, 2021
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, FIDSA, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Vaccination in adolescents and children

In the United States, vaccination was opened to all aged 16 years and older in early April 2021. On May 10, 2021, the FDA extended the EUA for the BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer) to include younger adolescents aged 12-15 years. The phase 3 trial data that is included in the EUA lists the vaccine as 100% effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in this age group. There were no cases of COVID-19 disease in adolescents aged 12-15 years who received the vaccine (n = 1,119) compared with 18 cases in those who received placebo (n = 1,110).

The mRNA-1273 vaccine (Moderna) was reported to be 100% effective 14 days after receiving 2 doses  in adolescents aged 12-17 years. In addition, vaccine efficacy of 93% in seronegative participants was observed starting 14 days after the first dose using the secondary CDC case definition of COVID-19, which tested for milder disease. The phase 2/3 trial included 3,732 participants. An EUA was submitted June 10, 2021 to expanded the current EUA to include this population. 

A trial for NVX-CoV2373 (Novavax) in adolescents aged 12-17 years has enrolled 2,248 participants as of mid-June 2021. 

Clinical trials for other vaccines are ongoing for adolescents and children.

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