Pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer are starting trials on young children.
NBC 7 spoke with a UC San Diego pediatrician who feels this is great news, he only wishes it had happened sooner.
Pfizer's study is similar to both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson's trials in that it's looking at how the vaccine shots should be administered to young children. This younger age group is not vulnerable to the virus but can be infected and spread it.
UC San Diego pediatric physician, Dr. Howard Taras consults several school districts in the San Diego area. He told NBC 7 he is delighted that children are now part of the studies, especially as more schools open up classrooms and athletes are getting back on the field across the country. Taras is well aware of the blind spot scientists and doctors have when assessing how children react to the virus.
"What side effects are kids getting from the vaccine? Hopefully, there will be very few. 'How effective is the vaccine in children? And I think when that data comes out, we'll have a better idea of how to promote it and how much to promote it," Taras said.
While there have been COVID-19 deaths in this younger group, Taras said, it’s known that in many cases, children have silently passed COVID-19 to their parents.
"I wish it had started sooner on children because if we look for herd immunity, these children could be passing this around a lot more frequently, a lot more effectively than we know. So, vaccinating children is still important, but I understand the delay,” said Taras.
Taras thinks it’s going to be a while, maybe even another year, before children will have access to the COVID-19 vaccines.