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Medical experts push for children in COVID-19 vaccine studies

According to the 15-page paper in Clinical Infectious Diseases, an Oxford academic publication, more than 100 U.S. children have died from COVID-19. In contrast, influenza-related deaths in children reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during regular flu seasons have ranged from 37 to 188 deaths per year over the past 15 years.

Trial studies, Anderson said, could start with low dosages. Anderson did not mention an age range for the children who would participate in the vaccine studies, but suggested it could start with older children. Studies on vaccines for other diseases, such as Ebola, have involved children. The idea, Anderson said, “is nothing new.”


To exploreThe government of Georgia plans to introduce the COVID vaccine by November 1

Although President Donald Trump has said a vaccine could be ready by November, many medical experts predict that a vaccine may not be available until the middle of next year. Meanwhile, researchers from Emory and elsewhere continue to search for vaccine participants.

To date, most of the participants in the COVID-19 vaccine study were adults between the ages of young and middle age. The researchers were cautious about recruiting older adults into the studies, although they were initially dying at higher rates from the disease. Anderson’s paper and others say they are unaware of any COVID-19 vaccine studies involving children in the United States.

Involving children in studies could be a challenge as concerns about the growth of a vaccine are accelerated. Several polls show that only one in five Americans would definitely get a vaccine when it is ready, a drop from about one in three Americans in August.

The Anderson et al paper offers social reasons for children to be part of vaccine research.

“A COVID-19 vaccine could provide direct benefits on childhood education by enabling safer return to school, a critical factor in maximizing children to their potential,” the authors wrote.

Researchers have published articles on the need for various trial participants to ensure that a vaccine is effective, like children and pregnant women. They point out that any vaccine studies conducted for those groups must be safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics said on Monday in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it claims children are included in Phase III trials, which is where the vaccine has reached the safety and efficacy points of the first two stages and is further on in the licensing process.

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