Study didn’t find any major safety issues with the shot, which could be up for regulatory authorization in coming weeks.

By Jared S. Hopkins

The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE safely protects children between the ages of 12 and 15, the companies said, results likely to lead to inoculations within that age group before this summer.

The vaccine was 100% effective in protecting against symptomatic disease in a study of more than 2,200 children, the companies said Wednesday. Researchers also didn’t find any safety concerns.

The findings, though expected, were much anticipated by parents, health authorities, and school officials. They have been waiting for signs on when vaccines that adults have been getting could also be made available to children.

Like other authorized vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech shot hasn’t yet been cleared for use in adolescents under 16 years of age. Health experts say children will need to be vaccinated for a population to move past pandemic restrictions, like masking and physical distancing.

Given the Pfizer-BioNTech results, adolescents in the U.S., at least, could start getting vaccinated as early as May, which would mean many would have the protection in time for attending camps and engaging in other summer activities.

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