Let Kids Be Part of Vaccine Trials

Campbell, who with his colleagues developed a plan for how to conduct pediatric COVID vaccine trials, points out that “in a universe where COVID primarily affected children the way it is affecting them now, and where we had potential vaccines, people would ask for them. “

The evidence that adolescents can transmit the disease is fairly clear and transmission has been documented in children as young as 8 years old. Fear of spread by children was enough to shut down schools and lead the American Academy of Pediatrics to demand that children be included quickly. in vaccine testing.

“The longer it takes to get children started, the longer it will take them to get vaccinated and break the chains of transmission,” said Dr Yvonne Maldonado, Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University who chairs the AAP Infectious Diseases Committee. “If you want the kids to go back to school and the teachers’ union not be terrified, you have to make sure they are not at risk.”

Other pediatricians fear that the first pediatric trials will backfire. Dr. Cody Meissner, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Tufts Medical Center and a member of the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee, fears that what causes multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, a rare but frightening disorder linked to COVID, may also be triggered, but rarely, by vaccination.

Meissner abstained on Thursday in a committee vote that supported, by a 17-4 vote, emergency clearance of the Pfizer vaccine for people 16 and older.

“I find it difficult to justify it for children so unlikely to contract the disease,” he said during the debate on the measure.

But panel member Dr Ofer Levy, director of the Precision Vaccine Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, said the 16-and-older clearance would speed up testing and approval of the vaccine for young people. children. This is vital for protecting the world from COVID-19, he said, because in the United States and most countries, “most vaccines are issued early in life.”

While the vaccines given to tens of thousands of people to date appear to be safe, the lack of understanding of inflammatory syndrome means that children in all trials need to be closely monitored, said Dr Emily Erbelding, director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. at the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

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Jothi Venkat

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