Update on Children’s COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

As of April, the World Health Organization did not recommend the vaccine for children under the ages of 16. This is because the original vaccine trials did not include this age range. The first vaccine trials also did not include pregnant people; however, there is an urge for pregnant people to get vaccinated because of the effects of Covid-19 on a pregnancy. The protection of pregnant people is a pressing issue as we deal with the coronavirus because of the special effects it has on them.

Pregnant people who contracted the disease had higher chances of preeclampsia, miscarriage, preterm labor as well the possibility of a stillbirth. The benefits of the vaccine examined by two studies show that vaccinated pregnant people pass slightly more protective SARS-CoV 2 antibodies to their offspring than pregnant people who had previously contracted the virus while pregnant.

With the CDC’s recommendation for pregnant people to get vaccinated, many parents are now worried about their children. If the parents are vaccinated and the newborn babies are born with more protective antibodies, where does that leave the kids? Pfizer and Moderna began COVID vaccine trials on children in April. These trials are done with parental consent. The results of these trials are set to be published sometime in the second half of 2021.

The two vaccines have different methods for their respective trials. In the Pfizer trials, the children will be receiving their second dose of the vaccine 21 days after they receive the first. In the Moderna trial, the children will be receiving their second dose of the vaccine 28 days after they receive the first. This is to examine how quickly the vaccine should be given to children and how much their bodies can tolerate it. The trials will separate the children into two groups. Some will be given the vaccines while some will be given a placebo.

One of the trial sites is located at Rutgers University in New Jersey. These trials will be enrolling around 200 children between the ages of 6 months and 11 years. It will last for 6 months.

Pfizer reports that their vaccine is safe for children aged 12-15 and that these children can be fully vaccinated safely. Moderna is currently working with a wider age group (12-17). In February, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the resident, said that he estimated that elementary school children would only be vaccinated after adequate research is done. He estimated that this would occur in the first quarter of 2022.

While we wait for the go-ahead on vaccination of children, it is important that we exercise patience because the studies have to be completed and reviewed before the country permits vaccines to be given to children. The age range that seems to be getting most of the attention is ages 12 and up. Although there are kids as young as 6 months old participating in the trials, it may take even longer for their results to be concluded and released.