The decision by public health agencies to recommend the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for young people ages 12 to 15 makes today "a big day," the Biden Administration's scientific lead for the pandemic said.
"The immunogenicity was strong. It was compared to young adults. The safety profile was reviewed. There was nothing that stood out in that safety profile," said Dr. David Kessler, the science officer of Covid-19 response with the US Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday on SiriusXM's "Doctor Radio Reports" show.
"And, remarkably, there was 100% efficacy in the treatment compared to the placebo in preventing Covid infection," he said, adding that he would be "very comfortable" urging parents of adolescents age 12 to 15 to take their kids to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
He noted that attention should now turn to getting the vaccines authorized for younger children as well.
"I don't see the 12-15-year-old group as being any different than those that have come before," he said. "I think we still have to get the data on children below the ages of 12. You know, as a pediatrician I understand fully that children are not just little adults. It's not just that you make the dose adjustment. They can react differently, so we have to get the data. We have the data in on adolescents and it's extraordinary. It's highly effective, 100%. Who would have ever thought, Dr. Siegel, that we would be sitting here and say we have a vaccine that in this age group is 100% effective?"