UW Health: Vaccinating kids critical to fighting COVID-19 pandemic

UW Health officials say making sure younger children are eventually vaccinated against COVID-19 is an important part of ending the pandemic.

A news release issued on Thursday, April 15 indicates some of the early data shared is positive, but there are still many unknowns related to inoculating children against COVID-19.

Currently, only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is authorized in the United States for children ages 16 and 17, and the companies have applied to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization to use the vaccine in children as young as 12.

UW Health officials say Pfizer is currently testing its vaccine in clinical trials with children 12 to 15 years old, and will be gradually advancing into trials with younger children. Moderna, the other vaccine currently authorized for use in the U.S., is also progressing in pediatric clinical trials, initially in adolescents but eventually to children as young as six months.

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This process may take many months, so these vaccines may not be authorized for most children until late 2021 or early 2022, according to Dr. Jim Conway, professor of pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and an infectious diseases and vaccine expert at UW Health.

Parents of children 16 and 17 years old are encouraged to get their children vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine now to help prevent the spread of the virus, which is expanding most in younger people.


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