Pfizer, BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine trial becomes first in US to enroll children

Pfizer received FDA approval to test the COVID-19 vaccine it’s developing with BioNTech in children as young as 12, one of the trial’s lead researchers told CNN Oct. 13.

Robert Frenck, MD, director of the Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, told CNN a team at the hospital will begin vaccinating teenagers age 16 and 17 this week and will begin enrolling 12- to 15-year-olds in the near future. He also said other trial sites would soon begin enrolling children.

More than 90 people have already responded to the hospital’s call for teenage trial volunteers, Dr. Frenck told CNN.

“I think one of the things that is important to remember is that although the death rate for children with COVID is lower than in older adults, it’s not zero,” he told CNN. “It is not a nonexistent infection in children.”

Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine candidate will be the first one tested in children in the U.S. The two-dose vaccine, which must be stored at -94 degrees, began its phase 2/3 trial in July.

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