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Initial experience of the safety and tolerability of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-Bio-N-Tech) vaccine in extremely vulnerable children aged 12–15 years
  1. Hayley King1,
  2. Sanjay Deshpande1,
  3. Tamsin Woodbridge2,
  4. Tom Hilliard3,
  5. Jon Standing4,
  6. Mary Lewis5,
  7. Lesley Ward6,
  8. Adam Finn1,7,
  9. Marion Roderick1,7
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK
  2. 2 Community Paediatrics, Southmead House, Sirona Care and Health CIC, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, UK
  3. 3 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK
  4. 4 Department of Pharmacy, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK
  5. 5 Immunisation, Sirona Care and Health CIC, South Gloucestershire, UK
  6. 6 William Budd Health Centre, Knowle West Health Park, Swift pcn, Bristol, UK
  7. 7 Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marion Roderick, Paediatric Infectious disease & Immunology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol BS2 8BJ, UK; rodericks1000{at}

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Healthy children generally have a mild illness with SARS-COV-2; however, some comorbidities may predispose to severe COVID-19 disease. Neurological conditions were the predominant comorbidity of hospitalised children in the UK with COVID-19 (11%)1 and a larger proportion (26%) of those with severe/fatal disease.2 Children perceived to be at highest risk of COVID-19 were shielded, reducing risks of infection and therefore underrepresented in the data.

Vaccination safety data for BNT162b2 (Pfizer-Bio-N-Tech) is now available from healthy adolescents age 12 to 15 years. Similar to adult studies, common side effects were mild-moderate pain at injection site (86%), fatigue (66%), headache (65%), and fever ≥38°C (20%).3

Although the side effects from adult studies were mild, they were inversely related to age, that is, younger participants (<55 years) had more side effects.4

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests AF is a member of the JCVI and is chair of WHO’s European Technical Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization committee. He leads another project investigating transmission of respiratory bacteria in families jointly funded by Pfizer and the Gates Foundation and is an investigator in trials of COVID-19 vaccines including ChAdOx1 nCOV-19, Janssen, and Valneva vaccines. The other authors have no relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.