Now that over 500 million COVID-19 vaccines have been given, normality is on the horizon. But, many parents are now wondering whether the vaccine will be available for children and teens.
Studies show that people are up to 72% less likely to develop an infection after receiving the vaccine, and this rises to 86% after the second dose. It reduces the chances of catching the virus, hospitalization, and deaths, as well as having an asymptomatic infection.
At the moment, COVID-19 vaccines have only been authorized for adults in most countries. It may be available for teenagers by the end of this year. But, younger children might have to wait a bit longer, as it might not be approved until 2022 for under-12s.
Before any vaccine is approved for kids and teenagers under 18, they need to be carefully and thoroughly tested on enough people in that age group to ensure they are safe and effective.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is currently undergoing phase 1 of its clinical trials on children under 12. And, there are plans for phases 2 and 3 to take place by the end of the year.
Johnson&Johnson just announced its plans to begin testing its version of the vaccine on kids aged 12 to 18, and the CEO, Alex Gorsky, said it plans to complete this by September.
Moderna started its phase 2 trials last week, which includes children aged six months to 11 years. And AstraZeneca and Novavax say they plan to start pediatric trials shortly.
Because children have different levels of immunity from adults, it’s important for researchers to ensure younger children are able to tolerate the side effects of vaccines.
This means that the trials are essential to determine whether vaccines can protect kids from becoming sick if they are exposed to the virus. Additionally, they will need to carry out tests on different age groups to see which dosage would be most suitable.