With children aged 5 to 11 being vaccinated against COVID-19, even younger children are taking part in clinical trials that will determine whether they can receive similar protection against the disease in the near future.
This week, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health announced that a phase 3 clinical trial of the Moderna vaccine in children 6 months to 4 years of age was complete. The process has been going on for two weeks.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response from the Madison community,” said Dr. Bill Hartman. “So we had a lot more people interested in the study than we had spots.”
Hartman is co-principal investigator of the KidCOVE clinical trial at UW-Madison, which also tested the Moderna vaccine on children ages 5 to 11.
So far, the Pfizer vaccine is the only brand approved for that age group. Moderna could seek authorization for emergency use for children ages 5 to 11 next month, Hartman said.
The parents of 4-year-old twins Sam and Theo Rodriguez were eager to participate in the study for the sake of science and to protect their families. The kids started school this fall, and their grandmother, who has diabetes and COPD, lives at their home in eastern Dane County.
No one in the family has ever taken part in clinical trials before, said their mother, Anne Rodriguez. But she said they were looking forward to this opportunity in hopes of potentially gaining early access to a vaccine for their young children.
Hartman expects Moderna’s clinical trial in these younger children to be completed by mid-December. Pfizer is continuing to test its vaccine on children under the age of 5, but federal approval is not expected until 2022.