ORLANDO, Florida — Pfizer is the only FDA-approved vaccine for children ages 12 and older, but many families want to know when a COVID-19 vaccine will be available for younger children.
What you need to know
Pediatric vaccine trial underway in Orlando Pediatric vaccines take extra time as scientists need to make sure the vaccine doesn’t negatively affect a child’s growing body
FDA says they hope to have the pediatric vaccine ready in the coming months
The FDA released information Friday confirming that necessary clinical trials are underway. Andrew Roy was able to get his two sons into a clinical trial in Orlando through Pfizer. He says his 7-year-old and 5-year-old both received their first injection on Tuesday and are going back in three weeks for a second.
“I’m really proud of them for being so brave, not only because they got the shot, but they had to have blood drawn, and they were both so excited to tell me how brave they were,” Roy explained.
The FDA said pediatric clinical trials require additional work on top of the adult studies already done, as researchers need to ensure the vaccine dose and strength are safe for children who are still growing.
“The people running the trial actually have a consent process for the kids so they discuss all the procedures with them,” Roy said.
The FDA recommends that parents and others get vaccinated, wear masks, and take other precautions to protect those who are too young for the shot. Those are steps Roy and his family are taking.
“We’re still taking precautions as if they weren’t vaccinated, mainly because we don’t really know,” he said.
There’s a chance his sons were given a placebo, but by the end of the study, they’ll both be vaccinated.
“It’s important for us not just to protect them, but to participate in the bigger picture to try to get this to a point where just about everyone in the population can be vaccinated if they want to,” Roy said.
On Friday, the FDA said they cannot give a specific date. They are working as soon as possible and hope to have the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine available in the coming months.