Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 Vaccine Produces 100% Protection in Kids

By Brian Orelli, PhD - Mar 31, 2021 at 1:48PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The companies plan to apply for emergency use authorization in adolescents in the coming weeks.

Pfizer (PFE -0.23%) and BioNTech's (BNTX 5.63%) COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, produced 100% efficacy in adolescents 12 to 15 years of age, according to data from a phase 3 clinical trail released on Wednesday.

While impressive, and better than the roughly 95% efficacy that the vaccine produced in adults, the 100% efficacy is based on just 18 COVID-19 cases in the placebo group vs. 0 in the vaccine group. If the study had enrolled more kids or gone on longer, there might have been a case in the group of patients who received the vaccine, ruining BNT162b2's perfect efficacy.

Nevertheless, by other measures, the vaccine does appear to be working better in adolescents than older participants. Antibody levels created by the vaccine in adolescents were around 75% higher than the antibody levels seen in participants ages 16 to 25 who were in earlier clinical trials.

Doctor showing a child a hypodermic needle.

Image source: Getty Images.

The companies plan to apply to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization to treat adolescents in the coming weeks. Pfizer's Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla noted the goal is to gain authorization early enough that adolescents could be vaccinated before the start of the next school year.

Pfizer and BioNTech are also testing the vaccine in children 6 months to 11 years old. The companies are breaking the large group of children of varying sizes into three groups. The 5 to 11 year-old group started receiving the vaccine last week, and the 2 to 5 year-old participants are scheduled to start getting the vaccine next week. The youngest group from 6 months to 2 years old will come later. The clinical trial in younger children will take longer than the study in adolescents because the companies have to figure out the optimal dose for younger children, who are much smaller than adults.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
$52.31 (-0.23%) $0.12
BioNTech SE Stock Quote
BioNTech SE
$157.50 (5.63%) $8.40

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/03/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.