COVID-19 Vaccine
(Photo : GettlyImages/ NurPhoto) COVID-19 vaccine for children

COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out in the United States since late 2020, but not everyone can get the shot yet.

Americans who are 12 years old and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine, but younger children are still waiting for their turn.

COVID-19 Vaccine Can't be Given to Children

With a lot of schools across the United States reopening for the fall semester, Pfizer and Moderna are still doing clinical trials to see how the COVID-19 vaccines work in children who are under 12 years old, according to CNN.

The medical experts want to make sure that it is safe and give the children the right dose.

All but four states have recorded an increasing number of cases, with doctors describing younger and sicker patients than what they witnessed last year.

Also Read: Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 Vaccine Delays Due to Reported Human Error's Wrong Ingredient

The increase in cases has a lot of parents of children under 12 years old asking when their kids can get the vaccine. Dr. Chip Walter, a pediatrician at Duke University, said that it might take months, if not longer.

Administering doses for younger people is not as simple, according to Dr. Walter. The experts are still working on the perfect dose to give children, and they are checking for any possible side effects, according to ABC News 5.

Pfizer's vaccine study involved more than 4,600 children in three different age groups: the first group are ages 5 to 11, the second group ages 2 to 5, and the third group ranges from six months old to age 2.

Data for children ages 5 to 11 could be published in September, and depending on the findings of the study, Pfizer can ask the US Food and Drug Administration or FDA to authorize the use of the vaccine on children.

Data for children ages 2 to 5 could arrive soon after. For the youngest children who are six months old to two years, Pfizer said that it could get data around October or November and will ask the FDA afterward to authorize emergency use.

The approval from the FDA could take weeks. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine for children won't be available until late 2021 or early 2022.

Moderna's vaccine study, on the other hand, is enrolling about 6,700 children ages 6 months to 11 years. Moderna did not provide a timeline to when it could have trial data results, according to Moderna. 

Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist and dean at Baylor College of Medicine, said that he would be surprised if the companies could move that quickly to produce a dosage for children based on how complicated the trials could be.

Looking for Possible Side Effects

Since it has been almost two years since the pandemic began, parents are wondering why there is no vaccine for children yet. Some parents pointed out that some children have bigger built than the rest.

Medical experts said that young children might need different doses, with some may need a different number of doses while others may not need as many doses.

For children who may be thought of as eligible, they still can't get the vaccine because companies want to make sure that it does not make children get immune enhancement phenomena, which could make the disease worse.

For now, while parents wait for the right vaccine for their little ones, the children remain vulnerable to the virus.

Related Article: Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine: Who Gets It First? Distribution to Start in a Couple of Days

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Written by Sophie Webster

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