Delays in starting COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in children will prolong overall recovery from the global pandemic, according to a new paper published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
In addition to direct medical benefits of immune protection, availability of a COVID-19 vaccine for children could facilitate return to school and other activities – critical for their well-being, the authors say.
The role of children in transmitting COVID-19 has been underappreciated, and the number of deaths among children due to COVID-19 is edging close to the average number of influenza-related deaths among children during recent flu seasons, the authors point out.
“Given the potential direct and indirect benefits of pediatric vaccination, implementation of Phase II clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines should begin now,” the paper says.
The lead author on the paper is Evan Anderson, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and professor of medicine and pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. Anderson is also principal investigator at Emory for the Moderna-National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases trial of the investigational vaccine mRNA-1273.
Co-authors on the Clinical Infectious Diseases paper include pediatricians from University of Maryland, Vanderbilt, Cincinatti Children’s, Baylor College of Medicine and SUNY Stony Brook.
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