Evaluation of BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine in Children Younger than 5 Years of Age

C4591007 Clinical Trial Group, Flor M. Muñoz, Lawrence D. Sher, Charu Sabharwal, Alejandra Gurtman, Xia Xu, Nicholas Kitchin, Stephen Lockhart, Robert Riesenberg, Joanna M. Sexter, Hanna Czajka, Grant C. Paulsen, Yvonne Maldonado, Emmanuel B. Walter, Kawsar R. Talaat, Janet A. Englund, Uzma N. Sarwar, Caitlin Hansen, Martha Iwamoto, Chris WebberLuke Cunliffe, Benita Ukkonen, Silvina N. Martínez, Barbara A. Pahud, Iona Munjal, Joseph B. Domachowske, Kena A. Swanson, Hua Ma, Kenneth Koury, Susan Mather, Claire Lu, Jing Zou, Xuping Xie, Pei Yong Shi, David Cooper, Özlem Türeci, Uğur Şahin, Kathrin U. Jansen, William C. Gruber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Safe and effective vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are urgently needed in young children. METHODS: We conducted a phase 1 dose-finding study and are conducting an ongoing phase 2-3 safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy trial of the BNT162b2 vaccine in healthy children 6 months to 11 years of age. We present results for children 6 months to less than 2 years of age and those 2 to 4 years of age through the data-cutoff dates (April 29, 2022, for safety and immunogenicity and June 17, 2022, for efficacy). In the phase 2-3 trial, participants were randomly assigned (in a 2:1 ratio) to receive two 3-μg doses of BNT162b2 or placebo. On the basis of preliminary immunogenicity results, a third 3-μg dose (≥8 weeks after dose 2) was administered starting in January 2022, which coincided with the emergence of the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant. Immune responses at 1 month after doses 2 and 3 in children 6 months to less than 2 years of age and those 2 to 4 years of age were immunologically bridged to responses after dose 2 in persons 16 to 25 years of age who received 30 μg of BNT162b2 in the pivotal trial. RESULTS: During the phase 1 dose-finding study, two doses of BNT162b2 were administered 21 days apart to 16 children 6 months to less than 2 years of age (3-μg dose) and 48 children 2 to 4 years of age (3-μg or 10-μg dose). The 3-μg dose level was selected for the phase 2-3 trial; 1178 children 6 months to less than 2 years of age and 1835 children 2 to 4 years of age received BNT162b2, and 598 and 915, respectively, received placebo. Immunobridging success criteria for the geometric mean ratio and seroresponse at 1 month after dose 3 were met in both age groups. BNT162b2 reactogenicity events were mostly mild to moderate, with no grade 4 events. Low, similar incidences of fever were reported after receipt of BNT162b2 (7% among children 6 months to <2 years of age and 5% among those 2 to 4 years of age) and placebo (6 to 7% among children 6 months to <2 years of age and 4 to 5% among those 2 to 4 years of age). The observed overall vaccine efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19 in children 6 months to 4 years of age was 73.2% (95% confidence interval, 43.8 to 87.6) from 7 days after dose 3 (on the basis of 34 cases). CONCLUSIONS: A three-dose primary series of 3-μg BNT162b2 was safe, immunogenic, and efficacious in children 6 months to 4 years of age. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04816643.).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)621-634
    Number of pages14
    JournalThe New England journal of medicine
    Volume388
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2023
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 3

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine

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