According to Frenck, officials expect them to migrate to eight children in the 2-4 year old age group and then move on with a larger number of children.
Eventually, several hundred children 11 and under could be enrolled at Cincinnati Children’s, he said.
Pfizer is the only approved vaccine for children ages 16 and 17 in the United States. The company began clinical trials with children aged 12 and over last year. Moderna also started clinical trials with children last year, according to the vaccine maker. Less than two weeks ago, Moderna announced that the study had been expanded to include children under the age of 12.
Pfizer and Moderna are currently the only vaccine manufacturers in clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine with children.
Frenck said there are two reasons to vaccinate children.
“One is the direct effect,” he said. “While the virus is less likely to cause serious illness in children, the likelihood is not zero.”
Of the more than 3 million infected children in the United States, around 300 have died of COVID-19 and more than 12,000 have been hospitalized.
“The problem is that we cannot predict which child will be the one that will get a serious infection. So we have to immunize,” said Frenck.
According to the hospital, around 500 families have already expressed their interest in participating. The later studies will include both vaccine and placebo.
There are currently more than 1,200 volunteers participating in COVID-19 vaccine studies at Cincinnati Children’s, including more than 300 teenagers.
The clinical trial to be conducted is located directly at the Gamble Vaccine Research Center on the Cincinnati Children’s Avondale campus.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
If a parent or legal guardian is interested in enrolling their child for future COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials with Cincinnati Children’s, they should visit: redcap.research.cchmc.org/surveys/index.php?s=FTW4CTWRCR