Safe, effective vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are urgently needed in children younger than 12 years of age.
A phase 1, dose-finding study and an ongoing phase 2–3 randomized trial are being conducted to investigate the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine administered 21 days apart in children 6 months to 11 years of age.
In the paper are presented results for 5-to-11-year-old children. In the phase 2–3 trial, participants were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive two doses of either the BNT162b2 vaccine at the dose level identified during the open-label phase 1 study or placebo. Immune responses 1 month after the second dose of BNT162b2 were immunologically bridged to those in 16-to-25-year-olds from the pivotal trial of two 30-μg doses of BNT162b2. Vaccine efficacy against Covid-19 at 7 days or more after the second dose was assessed.
During the phase 1 study, a total of 48 children 5 to 11 years of age received 10 μg, 20 μg, or 30 μg of the BNT162b2 vaccine (16 children at each dose level). On the basis of reactogenicity and immunogenicity, a dose level of 10 μg was selected for further study.
In the phase 2–3 trial, a total of 2268 children were randomly assigned to receive the BNT162b2 vaccine (1517 children) or placebo (751 children). At data cutoff, the median follow-up was 2.3 months. In the 5-to-11-year-olds, as in other age groups, the BNT162b2 vaccine had a favorable safety profile.
No vaccine-related serious adverse events were noted. One month after the second dose, the geometric mean ratio of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing titers in 5-to-11-year-olds to those in 16-to-25-year-olds was 1.04 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.93 to 1.18), a ratio meeting the prespecified immunogenicity success criterion (lower bound of two-sided 95% CI, 0.67; geometric mean ratio point estimate, ≥0.8). Covid-19 with onset 7 days or more after the second dose was reported in three recipients of the BNT162b2 vaccine and in 16 placebo recipients (vaccine efficacy, 90.7%; 95% CI, 67.7 to 98.3).
A Covid-19 vaccination regimen consisting of two 10-μg doses of BNT162b2 administered 21 days apart was found to be safe, immunogenic, and efficacious in children 5 to 11 years of age.