Moderna Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, intends to start large-scale testing of its COVID-19 vaccine on children, including those who are only six months old.
The large-scale testing is taking part of a vaccine clinical trial, known as KidCOVE. The trial is taking place across thirteen states in 79 different locations. Approximately 13,275 study participants will be involved, and their ages range from six months to eleven years old.
The initial phase of KidCOVE, which has recently been completed, focused on participants between the ages of six and twelve years old. At this point in time, the study has moved into its second phase, which entails testing the vaccine on children between the ages of two and six years old. The final stage of the study will involve testing the vaccine on children aged from six months to two years old.
By August, the administrators of the study trial had apparently acquired the total number of participants needed for each stage of the trial.
During the clinical trial, the participants receive two injections in the upper arm. The injections are spaced approximately four weeks, or 28 days, apart. Participants are then asked to return to the study for various follow-up appointments over the next thirteen months, according to the guidelines of KidCOVE.
According to the study’s official website, the official purpose of the study “is to test the safety and effectiveness of the [mRNA-1273] vaccine, [which] may protect children between the ages of 6 months and 12 years from getting sick if they come into contact with SARS-CoV-2,” which ultimately causes COVID-19 infection.
The KidCOVE study has been fairly controversial, though it has received limited media attention. Local news channels in Charlotte and Miami provided some insight into the participants. In addition, the testing is continuing onwards in spite of the fact that many public health experts are in agreement that the risk of COVID-19 infection in children tends to be extremely low.
The debate over COVID-19 vaccines for children has become one of the most serious political issues in the United States over the past several months. Various opponents of mandates argue that the vaccine is highly unnecessary for children due to the virus’s fairly weak impact upon them. On the other hand, advocates of mandates, including Dr. Bill Hartman, argue that vaccinating children comprises “the final frontier” in the long-term fight against the highly contagious pathogen.
According to Hartman, who serves as the co-principal investigator of the KidCOVE clinical trial at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “our very youngest children need to get the vaccine and we need to make sure they are safe.”
“The kids participating are heroes,” Hartman continued, “they will be able to tell the story of how they helped save the world.”