Teens are the latest participants in COVID-19 vaccine trials; security issues arise
COVID-19[female[feminine So far, vaccine trials have shown promising results in adults, but testing in children is only just beginning.
Clinical testing in children is the next major step among top candidates like Pfizer and Moderna, which have been shown to meet thresholds for safety and immune response. After the Pfizer vaccine appeared to be nearly 95% effective in adults, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital became one of the few sites to begin testing on adolescents.
As of April, the clinic has been one of five Pfizer pediatric testing sites working on COVID-19 vaccine trials in adolescents. A month after the start of the clinical trial has already produced favorable results, signaling a nod to spread to even younger age groups.
“What we’ve seen so far is that the security is very similar to that of adults,” Dr. Robert Frenck told FOX Business. “We see that some people have aches and pains, but nothing has been serious or caused a child to miss a day of school. We’re very excited about it, and it really gives us heart that we can go down further in age and maybe even have to go down as low as infants to try to really stop this whole epidemic.
About 400 children, aged 16 and 17, participated in the study, which administers two doses of Pfizer’s experimental vaccine, in addition to about 100 children in the 12 to 15 age group. Once the safety review confirms testing can continue, the clinic will aim to recruit up to 2,600 people aged 12 to 18 across the country.
Even though only about 13% of all participants experienced mild side effects, 87% showing no side effects, safety has become a priority for parents who still have concerns about an uncertified vaccine. Some of the setbacks include potential side effects and whether or not the vaccine will give COVID-19 to children.
“We absolutely say that this vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 because it is not a live virus,” said Dr Frenck. “What every parent asks and what I would expect from them is what are the side effects? So we tell them what we know, what the adults have seen so far and what the kids should expect.
Safety has so far been the same as testing in adults, and Dr Frenck predicts that children and adults will receive the same doses of the vaccine.
According to Dr Frenck, the clinic is encouraged by the line of prospective registrants it has seen, even as some parents express reluctance and prefer to wait until their children receive some form of vaccination.
On the other hand, many have raised questions about the need to test children in the first place because most don’t get sick. Just over one million children have documented infections in the United States, or 11.5% of all COVID-19 cases, with more than 9,000 children hospitalized and nearly 150 deaths.
“We need to test the children and immunize the children because even though the rate may not be high, the children are infected, the children get sick and the children die,” Dr Frenck said. “We need a vaccine not only to directly protect children, but also to prevent children from spreading to their families unknowingly.”
In order to get children back to school, parents and teachers also need to feel safe, and a vaccine is the way not only to make people feel safe, but also to keep the virus at bay. said Dr Frenck.