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MAY 31, 2021

Public Health Institute (ISP) approves use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those in the 12 to 16 age group

On May 20, 2021, the ISP received a request from the Pfizer-BioNTech laboratory, supported by information from clinical trials carried out on minors aged 12 to 16.

On May 31, Chile’s Public Health Institute, together with a group of experts from the National Immunization Program (PNI) and the Health Ministry’s Vaccines and Immunizations Advisory Committee (CAVEI), approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on a new age group, corresponding to minors between the ages of 12 and 16. 

On May 20, the ISP received a request from the Pfizer-BioNTech laboratory, supported by information from clinical trials carried out on minors aged 12 to 16. The documents were issued by high health surveillance agencies, counterparts of the ISP, including the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Health Canada. The documents provided details of the extension of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to this target age group. 

It should be noted that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved for emergency use in Chile by the ISP on December 16, 2020. Since then, the laboratory has been providing information to the ISP regarding subsequent post-vaccination results, as indicated by health protocols. 

These reports will now also include the results that apply to the 12 to 16 age group, which will allow the ISP to continue its pharmacovigilance campaign, as it has done with the other three vaccines approved for use in Chile (Sinovac, AstraZeneca and CanSino). 

Reacting to the news, acting director of the ISP Heriberto García Escorza explained, “this is very good news for protecting our adolescents and developing cocoon immunity. With two doses in 14 days, they will have a strong level of immunity so that they can start getting back to long-awaited normality.” 

“The more people we get vaccinated, the faster we will achieve cocoon immunity,” concluded Mr. García Escorza.