Pfizer Inc. said Wednesday its COVID-19 vaccine was 100 percent effective against the novel coronavirus in children between the ages of 12 and 15, and it will seek emergency use authorization in the United States for the age group in the coming weeks.

Currently, the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE is approved for use in individuals aged 16 and older.

In a clinical trial involving 2,260 adolescents in the United States, 18 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, were observed in those who had received dummy shots versus none in the vaccinated group.

"We share the urgency to expand the authorization of our vaccine to use in younger populations and are encouraged by the clinical trial data," Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said in a press release, adding that he hopes to submit the data to regulators in the United States and around the world.

He expressed hope to see the age group starting to be vaccinated before the next school year begins.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they are also proceeding with a study targeting children 6 months to 11 years of age to evaluate the safety of their two-dose vaccine for younger children.