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COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids: When Will It Be Available?

COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids: When Will It Be Available?

Many people are hopeful that 2021 is the year we’ll finally see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, more and more people are now getting the approved vaccines under Emergency Use Authorization. However, the current vaccines that we have are for adults. When will the COVID-19 vaccine for kids be available?

Kids are generally not included in high-risk groups

Before we move further into the discussion, it’s important to highlight that experts are not leaving the children behind.

The vaccines that we have now may only be for adults 16 and up, but there are crucial reasons for that. You see, according to experts, the protocol for a clinical trial is that vaccines should be tested on the healthy adult population first, before testing it on the elderly and children.

Additionally, kids are not typically included in the high-risk population who could develop severe COVID-cases.

At this point, those who are more likely to get it are frontliners working with people, such as nurses and doctors.

On the other hand, the population most at risk of developing severe symptoms are senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

COVID-19 vaccine for kids

Because of these demographics, various health-governing bodies decided that the most at-risk and vulnerable people should receive the vaccines first.

In other words, even if a COVID-19 vaccine is safe for kids aged 16 and up, they may not receive the vaccines just yet under the Emergency Use Authorization. However, they might be able to receive shots sooner, should they have underlying health issues that make them more vulnerable.

The current COVID-19 vaccine may not be right for kids

Children can’t receive the vaccine just yet because the current formulation that we have may not be right for them.

Experts stated that a child’s immune system is not the same as that of an adult. Additionally, their immunity may behave differently at varying ages.

For this reason, scientists will have to conduct additional studies. They need to check what dose works for kids, how many shots they need, and how far apart those shots should be.

Manufacturers are starting to include children in their clinical trials

Even though children are not generally a part of the most vulnerable population, there’s no doubt that this pandemic affects them on many levels.

For one, kids can’t go to school as they used to for fear of contracting COVID-19. Moreover, they cannot meet with friends personally nor play outdoors. These not only affect their physical health (as they might become more sedentary), but their mental health as well.

The good news is some manufacturers have already started including kids in their COVID-19 vaccine trials. Pfizer, whose current vaccine has 95% effectiveness, is said to have started including children as young as 12 in their clinical trials late in 2020. Moderna, whose adult COVID-19 vaccine has 94.5% effectiveness, has also begun clinical trials for kids.

But, when exactly can children receive vaccines? As of now, it’s hard to tell; it ultimately depends on the result of vaccine trials for kids. According to scientists, vaccine trials for children can take months, at least.

COVID-19 vaccine for kids

What should parents do while waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine for kids?

The time when children can go back to school, be with their friends, and play outdoors cannot come fast enough. But to ensure that they will receive a safe and effective vaccine, waiting is necessary.

Experts highly encourage parents to allow their children to get vaccinated once vaccines for kids are available.

For now, work on strengthening their immunity by making sure they are eating nutritious foods and taking their vitamins. Additionally, be sure to follow the health protocols. As much as possible, kids should stay at home.

When outdoors, they must wear a face mask and face shield and practice physical distancing. Please remind your children to wash their hands frequently. And finally, don’t delay in seeking medical help and proper care if they develop any symptoms.

Key Takeaways

Scientists still need to conduct further studies for a COVID-19 vaccine for kids. They need to check the appropriate dose and how far apart each dose must be. In the meantime, it’s important for parents to make sure children stay healthy and protected from diseases until a safe and effective vaccine has been made available.

Learn more about Childhood Vaccinations here.

[health_tool_article id=”170643″]

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

AAP: Include children in COVID-19 vaccine trials
https://www.aappublications.org/news/2020/11/17/covidvaccinetrials111720
Accessed January 21, 2021

When Will the COVID-19 Vaccine Be Available for Kids, and Will It Be Safe for Your Family?
https://www.connecticutchildrens.org/coronavirus/when-will-the-covid-19-vaccine-be-available-for-kids-and-will-it-be-safe-for-your-family/#:~:text=What%20ages%20has%20the%20COVID,kids%20%E2%80%93%20more%20on%20that%20below.
Accessed January 21, 2021

CLINICAL TRIALS IN CHILDREN
https://www.pfizer.com/science/clinical-trials/children
Accessed January 21, 2021

PFIZER AND BIONTECH CONCLUDE PHASE 3 STUDY OF COVID-19 VACCINE CANDIDATE, MEETING ALL PRIMARY EFFICACY ENDPOINTS
https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-conclude-phase-3-study-covid-19-vaccine
Accessed January 21, 2021

When can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/ask-the-pediatrician/Pages/when-can-children-get-the-COVID-19-vaccine.aspx
Accessed January 21, 2021

Picture of the author
Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Updated Jan 25
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