COVID-19 Vaccine to Be Tested in Children as Young as Six, University Says

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
February 13, 2021Healthshare
COVID-19 Vaccine to Be Tested in Children as Young as Six, University Says
A medical technician fills a syringe from a vial of COVID-19 vaccine in Bates Memorial Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., on Feb. 12, 2021. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Children as young as six will be part of a new COVID-19 vaccine trial, the University of Oxford announced Saturday.

“Building on previous trials of the vaccine, which have shown that it is safe, produces strong immune system responses and has high efficacy in all adults, this trial will assess if children and young adults aged 6–17 years make a good immune response with the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine,” the university said in a statement.

ChAdOx1 was developed by the university and AstraZeneca in a bid to prevent transmission of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a disease that began appearing in late 2019 in China.

The new trial will be single-blind, randomized, and phase II. It will enroll 300 volunteers, of whom up to 240 will get the vaccine. The others will be injected with a control meningitis vaccine.

Children between the ages of 6 and 17 are being targeted in the new trial, which is being funded by AstraZeneca and the UK’s National Institute for Health Research.

Studies show that most youth suffer little when they get COVID-19. Few deaths among those with the disease worldwide have been recorded among youth.

Some 2.3 million people have died with COVID-19 as of Feb. 13, according to a tracker run by Johns Hopkins University.

on a subway train
Riders on a subway train in New York, on Aug. 17, 2020. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

“While most children are relatively unaffected by coronavirus and are unlikely to become unwell with the infection, it is important to establish the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young people as some children may benefit from vaccination. These new trials will extend our understanding of control of SARS-CoV2 to younger age groups,” Andrew Pollard, professor of pediatric infection and immunity, and chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial said in a statement.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound negative impact on the education, social development, and emotional well-being of children and adolescents, beyond illness and rare severe disease presentations. It is therefore important to collect data on the safety and the immune response to our coronavirus vaccine in these age groups, so that they could potentially benefit from inclusion in vaccination programs in the near future,” added Rinn Song, pediatrician, and clinician-scientist at the Oxford Vaccine Group.

Prospective participants were told they’ll be reimbursed £10 for each study visit. They were told they’d be helping researchers gain knowledge about the vaccine’s impact against COVID-19.

“You/your child may benefit from protection from COVID-19 disease as a result of receiving the vaccine which has shown to have 60–90 [percent] efficacy against infection in adults,” a vaccine trial page states.

Side effects seen during previous clinical trials include chills, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes.

The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was approved for use by the European Medicines Agency in January. The World Health Organization of the United Nations said it could grant emergency authorization to the shot by mid-February.

AstraZeneca said it began shipping millions of doses this week to European sites and plans to deliver 17 million total over the next several weeks.

From The Epoch Times

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