MUSC sets timeline for COVID-19 vaccine trial on children

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 4:06 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The MUSC Children’s Hospital will ramp up a COVID-19 vaccine trial on children 12 years and younger.

The first shots could be going into the arms of children by this summer as part of an expanding effort to test the vaccine in an effort hospital officials say is an important next step toward reaching herd immunity.

MUSC Children’s Hospital is one of 100 sites across the country starting a clinical trial to find out how children will respond to Moderna’s version of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The process has already begun with officials now working to figure out the right dose for three different age groups:

  • Children 6 months to 2 years old
  • Children 2 to 6 years old
  • Children 6 to 12 years old

Getting the dosage correct is an important factor in the trial’s safety.

“They aren’t just little adults; they really are different,” MUSC Children’s Hospital Dr. Andy Atz said. “They sure are smaller than adults so they may need a smaller dose. And although we’ve got a lot of experience with this vaccine in adults. We do have to be absolutely sure that this vaccine can be safe in children.”

The first shots are expected to be administered to people in the oldest age group. The next two age groups will then follow.

Each age group is expected to include 2,000 children and they have a 75 percent chance of getting the vaccine rather than the placebo.

Pfizer plans to seek approval for its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 2 to 11 in September.

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