ST. LOUIS ( -- A new study released by Pfizer is showing promising results for the vaccine in adolescents. Pfizer announced Wednesday that is COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12.

Jodi Redman said she’s worried her 12-year-old son will contract the virus. This study gives her hope he’ll be protected, once he’s fully vaccinated.

“I am extremely hopeful for not only my son but for any parent who is getting their kid vaccinated,” Redman said. Most COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out worldwide are for adults, who are at higher risk from the coronavirus. Pfizer's vaccine is authorized for ages 16 and older. But vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to stopping the pandemic - and helping schools, at least the upper grades, start to look a little more normal after months of disruption.

In the study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers aged 12 to 15, preliminary data showed there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared to 18 among those given

Dr. David Rosen studies infectious diseases in children and said the study is optimistic. He believes this could bring that age range closer to getting the vaccine before the next school year.

“I think, most likely, we're gonna see the FDA working on this with Pfizer in late April, early May and hopefully by the summertime, I think we're gonna see that 12 to 15 year-olds will be able to start getting the vaccine,” Rosen said.

About 200 kids who participated in the worldwide study are from the St. Louis area and enrolled through Clinical Research Professionals in Chesterfield. Director, Marianne Tow said half of the kids were given the Pfizer vaccine and the other half were given the placebo. They are still unsure which control group they’re a part of.

“We are just waiting on word from Pfizer and the FDA, that they’ve approved for them to un-blind this adolescent group,” Tow said.

Kids who participated in the study had side effects similar to young adults, the company said. The main ones are pain, fever, chills and fatigue, particularly after the second dose. The study will continue to track participants for two years for more information about long-term protection and safety.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in the coming weeks plan to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European regulators to allow emergency use of the shots starting at age 12.

Dr. Rosen predicts children under the age of 12 will be approved to get the vaccine by early 2022.

According to the Missouri Health Department, Pfizer is authorized for those 16 and older. Moderna and Johnson and Johnson are authorized for people 18 and older. They are all eligible as of April 9, but they could be eligible already if they have any of the comorbidities of Phase 1B Tiers 1 and 2 or if they are eligible based on their employment, race or living environment.

Any Missourian authorized by the FDA to receive the vaccines can do so on April 9.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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