COVID-19 vaccine trials to be expanded to 5 to 11 year old children

Pfizer and Moderna are preparing to expand its study for vaccination of children between 5 to 11 year olds

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COVID-19 vaccination drives are on full swing in a number of countries across the nation. But the children continue to remain vulnerable due to the absence of a vaccine for their age-group. The Food and Drug Administration has requested the vaccine makers to expand their trials towards the young children. Pfizer and Moderna are all set to expand their vaccine trial for the children between the age group of 5 to 11 years old to detect rare heart issues among those who are vaccinated.

The pharma giants are increasing the number of children enrolled in the studies after the prompt of the federal Food and Drug Administration. The companies have been asked to include 3000 children or double the number of participants so that it would help to detect the rare side effects like pericarditis or myocarditis, inflammations of the heart. The side effects are very rare and show up in only 12.6 cases per 1 million second doses. Last month the FDA updated its vaccine facts sheets that includes the possible increased risk.

The COVID-19 cases are increasing everyday across the country. The Delta variant is also prevalent and is a deadly variant that causes severe side effects in patients who are infected. For now the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 has been authorized for children 12 years and older while the vaccine by Moderna has been authorized for 18 years and older. During the fall, the schools are preparing to reopen for in-person learning. Under such circumstances, the parents, teachers and school staff need to be vaccinated at the earliest.

Pfizer started the vaccine trials in children 11 years and younger in the month of March. It had then said that it would be submitting the study results to the FDA for emergency use authorization for 5 to 11 years old in September or October. Even Moderna started trials in Children younger than 12 in the month of March and expects to get an emergency authorization in late 2021 or early 2022.

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