COVID-19 Vaccine Trials to Begin on Pregnant Women, Young Kids in January

Drugmakers and U.S. regulators plan to launch clinical trials in January testing the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on pregnant women and young children, said Dr. Anthony Fauci

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As of early December, over 1.4 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Anthony Fauci noted Thursday in a discussion sponsored by Columbia University that pregnant women have not been included in any Covid vaccine clinical trials to date, but "those studies will probably start in mid- to late-January.”

While kids for the most part battle the virus successfully, they will be part of new COVID-19 vaccine trials.

"Most children don't get severely affected so we don't have to put them into the hospital, but they can still transmit infection so it's important to make sure you keep your children home if they have respiratory symptoms because they might have COVID and you don't want them spreading it to others," explained Dr. Mark Sawyer.

Sawyer is a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, California and he’s also part of governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 vaccine safety panel. He explains how kids tend to get similar on-set respiratory symptoms that adults do with the virus.

"To the best that parents can we want to keep kids from getting together in large groups in fact trying to keep your family from getting together in large groups because we're clearly on an upswing of COVID across the country," said Dr. Sawyer.

While more than a million children have been confirmed infected with the virus, experts think that number is much higher, because the illness is often mild in kids and may go undetected. Which is why Dr. Sawyer is encouraging people wear face coverings.

"This virus keeps reminding us that if we don't do that it's going to swell up in numbers just as we're seeing now and that's likely to continue at least until we get a vaccine that can help us deal with this pandemic, so people need to wear a mask," he said.

Pfizer BioNTech became the first COVID-19 vaccine developers to include children in U.S. trials in September, but data is still missing on the effects of the vaccine in kids and teens under 16. This as other vaccine companies such as Moderna, plan their trials on kids and teens.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday posted recommendations for use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as it relates to the general public, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals.

Health officials say it’s unlikely a vaccine will be ready by the start of next school year.

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