SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Dr. Laura Waters, a pediatrician at Mercy, discusses the different trials each drug maker available in the U.S. is working on to expand the Covid-19 vaccine to teens and children.
Dr. Waters says it’s essential to study the vaccine separately in children.
She says children are not mini-adults and respond differently, so health experts need to make sure there are no pediatric-specific side effects. The trials are essential to verify safety in dosing.
Dr. Waters says the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now only for those 16 and older. The two doses are administered 21 days apart. She says there are ongoing trials for kids 12 and older.
Dr. Waters says recent data in phase 3 of the trial for 12-15-year-olds shows 100% effectiveness.
New trials for children six months up to 11 years old are also underway. And Dr. Waters says, so far, children as young as five have received the dose, and testing as young as two years old will start this week.
The Moderna vaccine, also a two-dose shot, is currently only available for those 18 and older and is administered 28 days apart.
Dr. Waters says a study called “KidCOVE” is currently underway for children six months through 11 years old and is now enrolling 6,750 children in the U.S. and Canada.
The drugmaker is conducting a separate clinical trial called “TeenCOVE” in 3,000 teens ages 12-17.
The Johnson & Johnson, a one-dose vaccine, is also available to adults 18 and over.
The company announced on April 2 it has begun including teens 12-17 in their phase 2a trials, checking for safety, timing and effectiveness.
Some side effects, Dr. Waters says, are similar amongst all three vaccines, and they include sore arm, redness, fatigue, fever, chills, muscle or joint pains.
She says allergic reactions are very rare but have occurred.
The ACOG (American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology) recommends COVID vaccine for pregnant and lactating.
What about COVID vax and routine immunizations?
Dr. Waters says there isn’t enough data to know this answer yet, but the current recommendation is to not have another vaccine within 14 days of a COVID vaccine.
To find out more and to enroll in KidCOVE, click here.