Moderna has started testing the COVID-19 vaccine in children aged six months to twelve years old, but Canadian researchers remain uncertain that the vaccine will be accepted for teens anytime soon.
Table of Contents
- Moderna To Begin Testing On 12-18 Year Olds
- Dr. Caroline Quach Shares Sentiment
- There are currently no vaccines licensed for use of children under the age of 16 in Canada
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, children have done better than adults so far
- Infectious diseases specialist Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University
The organization announced on Tuesday that it would begin a mid-to-late-stage vaccination trial in the United States and Canada to determine the efficacy and efficacy of two doses of the vaccine administered 28 days apart. It plans to include approximately 6,750 children in the study.
Moderna To Begin Testing On 12-18 Year Olds
Moderna is now studying the vaccine in teenagers aged 12 to 18 years old in a separate trial that started in December.
In Canada and the United States, the Moderna vaccine has now been licensed for people aged 18 and over. However, no permits for children are expected in the immediate future, according to experts.
Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical advisor, said the timeframe seemed “a little ambitious” when asked whether a vaccine for use in children could be approved before school starts in the fall of 2021.
“As a result, in terms of hiring people, the trials of children appear to be a little harder to get up and running,” she said earlier this month. “Of course, after that, we have to perform the trials and analyze the results.”
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility that we’ll get any data in the summer,” she said.
“And we might probably get any signs in children by the end of this calendar year, but… that’s only pretty positive.”
Dr. Caroline Quach Shares Sentiment
Dr. Caroline Quach, the chair of Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunizations, tended to share this sentiment on Tuesday. Pfizer-BioNTech has given evidence on the vaccine that is being studied in the 12 to 15 age range, according to her.
She did say, though, that before the results of a phase three trial are available, NACI would not make any decisions on vaccines for infants.
“According to our interpretation, data for at least 12 to 15-year-olds should be available in the next two to three months. Then, if more evidence is gathered and vaccines are determined to be effective and immunogenic, the age span of vaccines can be reduced before it reaches the youngest children “she expressed herself.
“However, until the end of 2021, we don’t expect anything for children.”
There are currently no vaccines licensed for use of children under the age of 16 in Canada
According to Health Canada, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is suitable for people aged 16 and up, although the other three vaccines — Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson — are only suitable for people aged 18 and up.
Before approving any vaccine for use in infants, Health Canada says it is waiting for evidence from the vaccine manufacturers.
Pfizer and Moderna’s clinical trials in younger adults are the most advanced so far, according to Sharma, but Johnson & Johnson has already received permission from Health Canada to assess the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in children aged 12 to 17.
While Sharma believes Health Canada will collect data from Pfizer and Moderna first, AstraZeneca has launched its own clinical trial to test its vaccine in younger age groups.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, children have done better than adults so far
The virus is much more deadly in adults, specifically seniors or those with pre-existing illnesses, but it has been shown to be relatively mild in children, with just a few deaths reported.
As a result, children have been sent to the back of the vaccine queue. It’s also ignited a dispute among scientists and other government officials about the value of immunizing infants.
Vaccines have been prioritized for elderly adults and those who are at risk due to their health or profession so far in the global rollout.
Infectious diseases specialist Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University
He believes it is important for vaccine manufacturers to test their expensive vaccines on infants.
“First and foremost, they are not at zero risk,” he said plainly.
“We want to shield them because there have been severely ill children in this country and around the world,” he said.
“Second, infants have the ability to be transmitters. They have the ability to carry the virus, bring it around, and spread it amongst themselves. They can’t do so as openly and exuberantly as influenza, but they can do so nevertheless.”
According to Schaffner, testing vaccinations in segmented age ranges — such as 12 to 15 years old — is critical because it helps “get the dosage correct.”
“We want to take a good look at all of the safety problems as well as the efficacy,” he explained.
According to Schaffner, including childhood or pupil vaccine in Canada’s vaccination policy will give school safety policies more confidence and “lower the danger still more.”