Pediatric infectious disease expert David Cennimo is available to discuss the Food and Drug Administration approving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on kids ages 12 to 15.

“The Pfizer vaccine had a great track record of safety and success since the initial adult trials and emergency use authorization for adults and I see no reason why this would not continue in children,” said Cennimo, assistant professor of medicine in adult and pediatric infectious diseases at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “We are seeing an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in children, especially older ones, which may be due to increased infectivity of some of the variants. I believe vaccinations will provide another layer of protection which will be important as we reopen the country and as children return to schools.

“The FDA amended the Emergency Use Authorization yesterday finding the immune response to the vaccine in children 12 to 15 years old compared well to older children,” he continues. “Additionally, they found the vaccine to be 100 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 cases as compared to the placebo in almost 2,000 kids studied. Finally, the rates of side effects were on par with those seen in adult trials. I think many families are especially poised for this vaccine because I have received many questions about parsing risks in families when parents are vaccinated, but kids are not.”

Rutgers is also a clinical trial site for the global Pfizer-BioNTech research study to evaluate the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 6 months to 11 years.



Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) takes an integrated approach to educating students, providing clinical care and conducting research, all with the goal of improving human health. Aligned with Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and collaborating university-wide, RBHS includes eight schools, a behavioral health network and four centers and institutes. RBHS offers an outstanding education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, biomedical research and the full spectrum of allied health careers. RBHS clinical and academic facilities are located throughout the state.