COVID-19 Vaccines For Children

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Last reviewed
September 16, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccines For Children

Vaccines have significantly reduced many childhood diseases, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Vaccines to prevent infectious diseases are given to millions of babies, children, and adolescents. However, they must be demonstrated to be safe and effective during various clinical trials.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on September 15, 2021, there have been 439 deaths attributed to COVID-19 (vaccination status undisclosed) in people under the age of 18 since January 2020.

Moreover, the CDC confirmed on August 10, 2021, 'Rare serious adverse events have been reported after COVID-19 vaccination, including Guillain-Barré syndrome and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome after Janssen COVID-19 vaccination and myocarditis after mRNA Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech) and SpikeVax (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccination.

A paper recently published by the Oxford Vaccine Group presents a global dataset that looks at childhood vaccination policies worldwide.

COVID-19 Vaccines For Children News

September 15, 2021 - ORIGINAL RESEARCH was published: Factors Associated With COVID-19 Disease Severity in US Children and Adolescents. Among children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19, greater disease severity was associated with Black or other non-White race; age greater than 4 years; and obesity; type 2 DM, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and pulmonary conditions.

September 13, 2021 - England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty recommended that children between the ages of 12 and 15 be offered just one dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. More than a week ago, Britain’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization issued a statement saying the "margin of benefit” to inoculating children. The current update relates to JCVI’s review of considerations for the vaccination of children aged 12 to 15 years who do not have underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk from COVID-19. As a result, a precautionary approach was agreed upon given the very low risk of serious disease in those aged 12 to 15 years without an underlying health condition that puts them at increased risk.

September 10, 2021 - The U.S. FDA's Director Janet Woodcock, M.D.said in a press release, 'It’s important that the public recognize that, because young children are still growing and developing, it’s critical that thorough and robust clinical trials of adequate size are completed to evaluate the safety and the immune response to a COVID-19 vaccine in this population.'

September 8, 2021 - A non-peer-reviewed study: mRNA Vaccination-Associated Myocarditis in Children Ages 12-17: A Stratified National Database Analysis. Conclusions Post-vaccination CAE rate was highest in young boys aged 12-15 following dose two. For boys 12-17 without medical comorbidities, the likelihood of post-vaccination dose two CAE is 162.2 and 94.0/million, respectively. This incidence exceeds their expected 120-day COVID-19 hospitalization rate at both moderate (August 21, 2021 rates) and high COVID-19 hospitalization incidence.

September 8, 2021 - The Journal of Infectious Diseases published a test-negative study: mRNA Vaccine Effectiveness against COVID-19 among Symptomatic Outpatients Aged ≥16 Years in the United States, February – May 2021. The Comirnaty and SpikeVax mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines had a collective 91% vaccine efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 infection in Americans 16 years and older.

September 7, 2021 - The JAMA Network published the findings from a new study: Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Israeli Children During the Circulation of Different SARS-CoV-2 Variants. These results demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 spread more effectively and more rapidly among young children during the time of B.1.1.7 variant circulation in Israel.

September 6, 2021 - AFP News reported Cuba started distributing COVID-19 vaccines in the 2-11 age group in the central province of Cienfuegos.

September 3, 2021 - Health ministers from the four nations have asked the UK's Chief Medical Officers to advise on the vaccination of young people aged 12 to 15. The independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that the health benefits from COVID-19 vaccination are marginally greater than the potential known harms. However, it has advised the UK government to seek further input from the Chief Medical Officers on the wider impacts.

August 26, 2021 - 'There is no evidence that the Delta variant is causing more severe disease than previous strains,' says Dr. Sean O’Leary, vice-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) committee on infectious diseases. Less than 2% of children who have caught COVID-19 during this wave landed in the hospital—roughly the same percentage as during earlier phases of the pandemic, according to a TIME analysis of AAP and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data.

August 23, 2021 - The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages the practice of administrating the Comirnaty vaccine off-label for children aged 11 and younger.

August 12, 2021 - The U.S. FDA amended the EUAs for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, including those 12 years of age.

August 11, 2021 - The NEJM published an Orginal Article that found the mRNA-1273 vaccine had an acceptable safety profile in adolescents in this study. The immune response was similar to that in young adults, and the vaccine was efficacious in preventing Covid-19. No serious adverse events related to mRNA-1273 or placebo were noted.

August 11, 2021 - A study jointly led by Public Health England, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Office for National Statistics was carried out in June 2021 across 141 primary and secondary schools within the North West London area in England. The percentage of primary school pupils who tested positive on the day was 0.27%, showing very little change from May 2021. In secondary schools, 0.42% of students tested positive, representing a significantly lower level than the autumn term 2020. And in secondary schools, 0.27% of staff tested positive for COVID-19, similar levels in March 2021 and significantly lower than the autumn term 2020. For Round 6, the number of positive test results from primary school staff was too small to present due to statistical disclosure criteria.

August 10, 2021 - The journal JAMA published a new study: Association of Myocarditis With BNT162b2 Messenger RNA COVID-19 Vaccine in a Case Series of Children. In this small case series study, myocarditis was diagnosed in children after COVID-19 vaccination, most commonly in boys after the second dose. In this case series, in short-term follow-up, patients were mildly affected. The long-term risks associated with postvaccination myocarditis remain unknown.

August 9, 2021 - Swissmedic confirmed it has carefully checked the application submitted by Moderna Switzerland GmbH for the indication extension and has extended the temporary approval of the Covid-19 vaccine Spikevax from Moderna for the prevention of coronavirus disease for adolescents aged 12 to 17 years. As with people over 18 years of age, the vaccine must be administered twice, 4 weeks apart.

August 5, 2021 - Lee Savio Beers, MD, FAAP President, wrote a letter to the U.S. FDA stating: On behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a non-profit professional organization of more than 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, I write to urge the Food and Drug Administration to continue working aggressively towards authorizing safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for children under age 12 as soon as possible.

August 4, 2021 - The UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation announced it is advising 'all 16 and 17-year-olds to receive their first of the two-dose regimen Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine. However, the second vaccination schedule is under review.

August 3, 2021 - Wiley Online published an Original Article: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 pandemic in Turkey: A single-center experience. Children with MIS-C might have variable clinical presentations. Acute anterior uveitis might be a prominent presentation of MIS-C and require ophthalmological examination. It is essential to make patient-based decisions and apply a stepwise approach to treat this life-threatening disease.

August 2, 2021 - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced the approval of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 3-17. In May 2021, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention approved the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 following a strict assessment.

July 27, 2021 - The Israeli Health Ministry informed healthcare providers that they could administer coronavirus vaccines to children aged 5-11 who have serious background illnesses. Authorizations for individual children must be granted by the healthcare provider and then be validated by the ministry. The Health Ministry said the medical conditions that could warrant such authorization include extreme obesity (BMI over the 99th percentile for age and sex), severe chronic lung illness, neurodevelopment disorders, congestive heart failure, sickle cell anemia, and severe autoimmune diseases.

July 27, 2021 - “Since we never immunized children this age and we decided on a special dose – 10 micrograms instead of 30 mcg. of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine – we still don’t know,” Dr. Doron Dushnitzky, a pediatric specialist with Leumit Health Services and a member of the Midaat Association for Informed Health, told The Jerusalem Post.

July 26, 2021 - The NYTimes reported, 'At the urging of federal regulators, Phizer and Moderna are expanding their clinical trials for children ages 5 to 11, as a precautionary measure designed to detect rare side effects including heart inflammation problems that have been confirmed in vaccinated people younger than 30. As of July 21, 2021, the United Kingdom Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency monitors serious allergic reactions, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and reports of myocarditis or pericarditis with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna, and the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

July 23, 2021 - Local media reported that the second dose of Covaxin has already been administered to children aged 6-12 years at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. As per sources, the results of clinical trials are expected to come in one month after completing trials of all age groups.

July 21, 2021 - The NEJM published a CORRESPONDENCE: Household Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Children and Adolescents. This retrospective study showed that the efficient transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from school-age children and adolescents to household members led to the hospitalization of adults with secondary cases of Covid-19. In addition, in households in which transmission occurred, half the household contacts were infected.

July 21, 2021 - How readily does COVID-19 spread on school buses? Universal testing and contact tracing revealed no transmission linked to bus transportation. 'As members of the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics School Re-Opening Task Force, we recognize that schools are under pressure to make data-driven operational decisions.  We hope the model we describe and our data can be of assistance in demonstrating that school buses can safely operate at normal capacity even at high community COVID-19 caseloads.”

July 17, 2021 - The Telegraph reported the UK has decided against mass COVID-19 vaccinations for all children and will focus on at-risk people.

July 15, 2021 - The AP reported Dr. Marco Cavaleri, the EMA's head of vaccines strategy, said its expert committee was currently evaluating Moderna''s application to extend the use of its coronavirus vaccine for children 12 to 17 years old. “We expect that the committee will conclude by the end of next week,” he said.

July 15, 2021 - Tennessee local media reported, 'The Tennessee Department of Health will halt COVID-19 adolescent vaccine outreach.' An internal memo had been sent outlining how children can legally receive the vaccine without parental consent.

July 13, 2021 - The JAMA published an article: Prevalence of Serious Bacterial Infections Among Febrile Infants 90 Days or Younger in a Canadian Urban Pediatric Emergency Department During the COVID-19 Pandemic. 'The present analysis found that the proportion of concomitant SBIs among young infants with SARS-CoV-2 infection was similar to the proportion of bacterial coinfection with other respiratory viruses before the pandemic.'

July 6, 2021 - The U.S. CDC confirmed the VAERS reported 1,226 cases of myocarditis after mRNA vaccination was received from December 29, 2020, - June 11, 2021. Among persons with reported myocarditis after mRNA vaccination, the median age was 26 years, mostly young men, with a median symptom onset interval of 3 days after vaccination.

July 5, 2021 - Charting mandatory childhood vaccination policies worldwide.

July 1, 2021 - The Association of American Medical Colleges stated, 'As scientists test vaccines in young children, evidence continues to emerge about how the disease harms kids, how expanded immunizations of others might protect them, and what impact a vaccine might have.'

June 28, 2021 - The Public Health Agency of Sweden is offering vaccination against COVID-19 for certain groups of patients in the 12–15 age group. These are children with certain medical conditions and with an increased risk of becoming seriously ill from a viral infection. The medical conditions in question are listed on the website of the Swedish Paediatric Society.

June 28, 2021 - The Lancet published a study that found the 'CoronaVac vaccine was well tolerated and safe and induced humoral responses in children and adolescents aged 3–17 years. Neutralizing antibody titers induced by the 3·0 μg dose were higher than those of the 1·5 μg dose. The results support using a 3·0 μg dose with a two-immunization schedule for further studies in children and adolescents.'

June 28, 2021 - “Among those hospitalized, 11% were <30 years and 60% were ≥60 years,” Chau Nguyen MS, CIC, FAPIC Epidemiologist, Infection Control and Prevention Spectrum Health System, the lead investigator, reported. In terms of inpatient mortality rate, “for patients <30 years was 0% versus 13% for patients ≥60 years (p-value <0.001).”

June 11, 2021 - Which countries have mandatory childhood vaccination policies?

June 10, 2021 - Germany’s vaccine advisory committee recommended that only adolescents with pre-existing conditions receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

June 10, 2021 - The U.S. CDC reported over 200 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis among 16-to-17-year-olds after receiving an mRNA vaccination.

June 10, 2021 - The U.S. FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research is conducting a virtual meeting of the 15 voting members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. During the meeting, the FDA provided a status update on its risk-benefit approach to issuing emergency use authorization (EUA) for experimental COVID-19 vaccines intended for use in individuals and the data needed to support a EUA and a biologics license application for a COVID-19 vaccine intended for use in children older than six months of age.

June 9, 2021 - A new analysis showed a sustained decrease in immunization rates among teens throughout the pandemic in 2020. This includes 8.8 million missed adolescent vaccine doses.

May 25, 2021 - Moderna, Inc. announced that the Phase 2/3 study of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents had met its primary immunogenicity endpoint, successfully bridging immune responses to the adult vaccination.

May 10, 2021 - Adolescents ages 12–17 can receive the experimental Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and be vaccinated with appropriate assent. Sites administering COVID-19 vaccines should follow current state/jurisdictional policies and practices for other routine immunizations in this age group.

May 6, 2021 - Novavax COVID-19 vaccine Phase 3 study: A Study to Evaluate the Efficacy, Immune Response, and Safety of a COVID-19 Vaccine in Adults ≥ 18 Years With a Pediatric Expansion in Adolescents (12-17 Years) at Risk for SARS-CoV-2.

March 24, 2021 - The Lancet published a study that concluded: 'Our evidence indicates that children continue to be mostly, but not completely, spared the worst outcome of the pandemic, particularly compared with older adults who have been much harder hit. However, we continue to caution that the virus is likely to change over time and that these conclusions should be kept under review.'