CINCINNATI — When 16-year-old Katelyn Evans signed up to be part of a clinical vaccine trial at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, she saw it as playing her part in bringing an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I feel like we should all do whatever we're able for other people right about now," she said. "If any information they can get from me can help get a vaccine out sooner and help everyone out there, I feel like I can do it."
Evans was part of Pfizer's previous trials to determine its vaccine's effectiveness in 16- and 17-year-olds. Now, a new study shows promise among younger kids, too.
That study -- also conducted at Cincinnati Children's and released Wednesday -- suggests the vaccine was 100% effective in preventing coronavirus infection in children ages 12 to 15. The findings bring the company one step closer to asking the Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval to begin vaccinating people under the age of 18.
Dr. Robert Frenck has led the Pfizer vaccine studies at Children's and said time is of the essence in getting kids vaccinated.
"In the U.S., there are 75 million people under 18 years of age," he said. "So if we don't immunize kids, we're going to have a large percentage of population susceptible."
Frenck said he's encouraged by the results he's seen in his trials so far.
"We know the immunization is good and having the tremendous protective effects. So it really just extends the spectrum of how great these vaccines have been performing," he said.
Ultimately, the more people who get the vaccine, the sooner life can begin getting back to normal, Frenck said.
"If we could immunize our kids, I think it's going to feel much safer as far as going to school, back to sports, back to activities, back to social things, and, basically, back to normal," he said.
Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 16 and older, but the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been approved only for people 18 and older.
Parents with questions about their kids and getting the COVID-19 vaccine can see the Children's website here.