Many countries are working on large scale covid-19 vaccinations but there is still no vaccine available for children. After one and a half years of dealing with the pandemic, massive vaccine production, and nearly half of the US population vaccinated, there are still questions that need to be addressed. All this progress definitely shows an improvement in pandemic management but we are still far away from taking control over this situation, according to the health experts.
There is still no Covid-19 vaccine authorized for children below 12 years of age. The manufacturers are working on creating child-friendly vaccines that would be safe for all children including those who are a few months old.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is also a part of this vaccine developing process under Jeff Gerber who is heading this testing of Moderna vaccines on younger ones.
This trial is called the KidCOVE trial, which will determine the effects of the Moderna vaccine in younger children between the ages of six months to 12 years. Previously, Moderna also conducted a study to see the effects of the Covid-19 vaccine on children between 12 to 17 years of age, and its results are currently under review. Like other vaccine trials, this KidCOVE trial is also under the co-leadership of the National Institutes of Health and some industrial partners.
Knowing the fact that new cases of covid-19 are reduced, estimating the vaccine efficiency is somehow challenging. The health experts are still working on vaccines hoping to understand the immunogenic expression determining the exact mode of protection for the body. It includes finding a biomarker to see if the body has some type of protection against the virus or not. The antibodies produced in response to viral exposure do help but there are many other things in the immune response that are a part of all this.
Going through all available data on covid-19 indicates that children are least likely to suffer complications from the virus. Yet there are deaths reported after coronavirus exposure that shows children need a covid-19 vaccine as much as any adult.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all children are capable of getting this viral infection but their symptoms might not be worse like adults. Many times children only develop mild symptoms that too go away on their own.
Based on the reports shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, the children in the US make up nearly 13% of all reported infections. There is research that shows younger children i.e. less than 14 years of age to be least infected with the covid-19 compared to people who are at least 20 and older.
Still, some children may fall severely ill and need hospitalization as well as emergency care. Those who reach the intensive care unit may also need a ventilator to support breathing. Plus, if they have an underlying condition for example type 2 diabetes, obesity, congenital heart disease, or any other condition, the risk to their health increases even more.
With the ongoing trials, there are high chances that a covid-19 vaccine for children would be available soon. Once the trials are completed, the companies will start working on mass production and start the vaccination programs focused on younger children.