Health professionals’ concerns increasingly turned to the young as potential spreaders of COVID-19. Now Pfizer will commence a clinical trial testing their COVID-19 vaccine on children as young 12 years old as many parents apparently are eager to vaccinate their children with mounting concerns for their safety. Consequently, the first clinical trial investigating a COVID-19 vaccine to include kids starts this week at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The prestigious academic medical center starts with 16 to 17 year-olds this week and moves to 12 to 15 year-olds later on, reported Dr. Robert Frenck, Director of the Vaccine Research Center.
This news was shared by CNN and picked up by several local outlets. Pfizer confirmed this on its website, according to CNN. Apparently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the greenlight to test individuals as young as 12. Dr. Frenck shared with the world via a CNN interview, “We really think a vaccine for adolescents and children is going to be critical for getting COVID under control.”
Children at Risk
The perception out there often is that children don’t get sick from COVID-19 but, of course, that’s far form the truth. Although they don’t show adverse symptoms nearly as much as adults, over half a million children have been diagnosed with the virus, reports Dr. Frenck. And that number could be way undercounted, Frenck suspects.
Moreover, children from time to time are developing serious illness and can even die. It’s suspected as well that children are helping to spread the COVID-19 disease and putting at risk elderly household members, especially if the latter struggles with comorbidities.
Volunteers Thus Far
Dr. Frenck shared that, to date, the trial site location has signed up 90 individuals based on an advertisement revealing the need for young volunteers.
Robert Frenck, MD, Director of the Vaccine Research Center, Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics