On March 31, 2021 Pfizer and BioNTech announced the dosing of the first healthy children in a global Phase 1/2/3 seamless study to further evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 6 months to 11 years of age.
The study is evaluating the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on a two-dose schedule (approximately 21 days apart) in three age groups: children aged 5 to 11 years, 2 to 5 years, and 6 months to 2 years. The 5 to 11 year-old cohort started dosing last week and the companies plan to initiate the 2 to 5 year-old cohort next week.
This is a Phase 1/2/3, randomized, placebo-controlled, observer-blind, dose-finding, vaccine candidate-selection, and efficacy study in healthy individuals.
The study consists of 2 parts:
Phase 1: to identify preferred vaccine candidate(s) and dose level(s); Phase 2/3: an expanded cohort and efficacy part.
The study will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of 3 different SARS-CoV-2 RNA vaccine candidates against COVID-19 and the efficacy of 1 candidate:
As a 2-dose (separated by 21 days) schedule;
At various different dose levels in Phase 1;
As a booster;
In 3 age groups (Phase 1: 18 to 55 years of age, 65 to 85 years of age; Phase 2/3: ≥12 years of age [stratified as 12-15, 16-55 or >55 years of age]).
The candidate selected for efficacy evaluation in Phase 2/3 is BNT162b2 (mid-dose).
Participants ≥16 years of age who originally received placebo will be offered the opportunity to receive BNT162b2 at defined points as part of the study.
In order to describe the boostability of BNT162, and potential heterologous protection against emerging SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, an additional dose of BNT162b2 will be given to Phase 1 participants approximately 6 to 12 months after their second dose of BNT162b1 or BNT162b2. This will provide an early assessment of the safety of a third dose of BNT162, as well as its immunogenicity.
The assessment of boostability will be further expanded in a subset of Phase 3 participants who will receive a third dose of BNT162b2 or a third and potentially a fourth dose of prototype BNT162b2VOC (BNT162b2s01, based upon the South African variant and hereafter referred to as BNT162b2SA).
To further describe potential homologous and heterologous protection against emerging SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, a new cohort of participants will be enrolled who are COVID-19 vaccine-naïve (ie, BNT162b2-naïve) and have not experienced COVID-19. They will receive BNT162b2SA given as a 2-dose series, separated by 21 days.
In the Phase 3 portion of this clinical trial, adolescents 12-15 years old with or without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses, exceeding those recorded earlier in vaccinated participants aged 16 to 25 years old, and was well tolerated. These are topline results from a pivotal Phase 3 trial in 2,260 adolescents.