Although they do not represent a greater risk group for the disease, the age group may also have comorbidities; group is essential for ‘herd immunity’
Vaccination against Covid-19 is advancing around the world and, in some countries, people over 16 are already being immunized. However, the prospects for adolescents and children under this age group to receive vaccine are only appearing now. Between the vaccines already approved by regulatory agencies, four are testing on minors: Oxford / AstraZeneca, Sinovac / Butantan, Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna. Last Wednesday, 31, inclusive, Pfizer announced that studies indicated 100% effectiveness in young people between 12 and 15 years old. Of the 2,260 volunteers, 18 infections were confirmed in the placebo group. In the group that received the true dose, no cases were registered. Those responsible for vaccines both Janssen how much from Sputnik V have already indicated that they intend to test their vaccines on children in the coming months. Although the disease does not affect minors with the same severity as the elderly, for example, it is not possible to exclude the age group from the plans.
“Even in the pediatric population there are risk people: diabetics, with heart problems, with HIV, with cancer. So it is necessary to vaccinate too, regardless of age. And, after controlling the disease and vaccinating all priority groups, thinking about transmission control, you need to include teenagers and children ”, explains Renato Kfouri, president of the Scientific Department of Immunizations at Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP). In Brazil, this range corresponds to 25% of the population. “If you want a herd immunity, you need to include these people, ”he added.
According to the expert, there is not much difference between the tests carried out on adults and those carried out on children. Are the same: immune response, safety and efficacy. But it is not possible to stipulate the time these tests take, although studies of age range tend to be faster. “You already know the safety profile, the adult’s immune response, so you do comparative analysis,” explains Kfouri. “In general, children under 2 years old and older people tend to respond ‘less optimally’ to the vaccine. The child due to the immaturity of the immune system and the older ones due to aging ”, he says.
Check out the tests on minors
Pioneer in studying the vaccine for this population, Oxford/AstraZeneca announced phase 2 testing in February. At this stage, the goal is to assess safety and immune response. There will be 300 volunteers from 6 to 17 years old and 240 will receive the vaccine against Covid-19. The other 60 will receive the meningitis vaccine, which has side effects similar to that of the coronavirus. The choice of who will receive which compound is made at random. In Brazil, the Fiocruz should ask the Anvisa soon the authorization to perform tests on minors.
Despite not being published in any scientific journal, the Sinovac, partner of Butantan Institute, presented results of preliminary studies of the CoronaVac performed on children. According to the statement, there were 500 volunteers aged 3 to 17 who received two doses with different amounts of the vaccine or placebo. Most reactions were mild, as well as in adults, and the levels of antibodies triggered were higher than those in the 18 to 59-year-old group. In Brazil, there are still no studies in progress.
Pfizer was the first company to release more detailed data from clinical studies in young people aged 12 to 15 years. In this age group, of the 2,260 volunteers, 18 infections were confirmed in the group that received a placebo. In the group that received the true dose, no cases were registered – which indicated 100% effectiveness. In children under 12, the company conducts tests in three groups: 5 to 11 years, 2 to 5 years and six months to 2 years.
A Modern began testing in more than 6,700 children between six months and 12 years of age in March Canada it is us USA. Each person will receive two doses in an interval of 28 days and the dosage will be different between the age groups: from 2 to 11 years, the combination is 50mg or 100mg of the vaccine. From six months to two incomplete years, it will be 25mg, 50mg or 100mg – in addition to not having a placebo group, everyone will be vaccinated in some way.