Pfizer Inc. and German partner BioNTech SE began testing their COVID-19 vaccine under 12, with hopes of expanding vaccination to that age range by early 2022.
Pfizer Spokesperson Sharon Castillo said the first volunteers in the early-stage trial were given their first injections on Wednesday, March 24.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was authorized by U.S regulators in late December for people aged 16 and older. According to data from the U.S CDC, nearly 66 million doses of the vaccine had been administered in the United States as of Wednesday morning.
The pediatric trial will include children as young as 6 months, follows a similar one launched by Moderna Inc. last week.
Only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is being used in 16- and 17-year-olds in the United States. Moderna’s shot was cleared for those ages 18 and older, and no COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized in younger kids yet.
The pharmaceutical company plans to later expand to a 4,500-participant late-stage trial in which they will test the safety, tolerability, and immune response generated by the vaccine, likely by measuring antibody levels in the young subjects.