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Pfizer: COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in adolescents

More than 10,000 children in the St. Louis area signed up for ongoing clinical trials

ST. LOUIS — Pfizer said its coronavirus vaccine was 100% in a study of 2,260 adolescents ages 12 to 15.

When Dr. Rachel Charney looked at the new results out Wednesday, she was interested as both a scientist and a mother.

"This is this interesting news because I actually do have a 12-year-old," the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital pediatrician said.

Charney said the study lines up with previous research in adults, showing similar minimal side-effects and even better efficacy. 

Charney said she's heard from a lot of parents who are interested in getting their kids vaccinated.

"There certainly has been a lot of questions. I've seen a lot also from just parents who wanted to know how they can participate in the trials," Charney said.

Clinical Research Professional in Chesterfield signed up about 200 adolescents for their Pfizer trial, the largest group to contribute to the new study.

Infectious disease researcher Dr. Jason Newland — father to a 15- and 17-year-old — said there are more than 10,000 kids on their trial registry, adding "we actually quit counting."

Newland said Washington University is still working out the logistics for their upcoming study but said the overwhelming response came as a surprise especially because they only expect to accept 300 patients. 

"It was overwhelming, but I think it also is a testament to our community and about how people really want to band together to get to the end of this," Newland said.

"Where we were a month ago and where we are now... completely different," Paul Ziegler, executive director of EducationPlus, said. 

Ziegler said his organization has been working with schools and lawmakers to prioritize teachers for coronavirus vaccination, huge gains through targeted clinics like the one at Vashon High School. Student vaccines only move that process further along.

"I think that we are excited about the opportunity to get a vaccine and all of our schools, to get close to normal. We really want --  and we have forever -- we want students back in a face-to-face environment," Ziegler said.

Ziegler said the start of the next school year will involve a lot of the same social distancing measures already in place, and both Drs. Charney and Newland agree the same practices should continue outside the classroom as well.

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