Major COVID-19 vaccine makers announce trials for children in coming months, expert says

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
COVID-19 vaccine makers announce trials for children, expert says
The pediatric trials for COVID-19 vaccination will have similar or same protocols as adults, said Dr. Mark Butterly, Advocate Children's Hospital.

RIVER FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- As vaccination efforts ramp up in adults, there is a push to begin COVID-19 vaccination trails in children.

The major vaccine makers all announced plans to begin testing kids in the coming months.

Dr. Mark Butterly, department of pediatrics at Advocate Children's Hospital, said the pediatric trials will follow along the same or similar protocols as the ones that have taken place for adults. They last about six months with a need for a booster immunization after three or four weeks after the primary inoculation, Dr. Butterly added.

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"We're talking now testing as low as 6-years-old. Within the United Kingdom, they're just starting these trials or will be starting within the next several weeks," Dr. Butterly said.

The concerns about testing younger children is that evidence for efficacy and safety may not be usable. Children have immune systems that are in the process of evolving, so applying data of mature immune system to children is not necessarily accurate, Dr. Butterly added.

Consent must come from the parent or guardian of the child for the trials. A child who is capable of understanding what they are participating in should provide assent.