Pediatric Trials for COVID Vaccine Ramping Up

Now that President Joe Biden has set the goal of providing access to COVID-19 vaccinations for every adult in the country by May 1, attention now turns to children, who have so far been excluded from vaccine trials.

Moderna announced this week that it has begun trials for children ages six months to 12 years, with the first participants of its KidCOVE study already having received their first doses in the Phase 2/3 study.

The study is a collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“We are pleased to begin this Phase 2/3 study of mRNA-1273 in healthy children in the U.S. and Canada and we thank NIAID and BARDA for their collaboration,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna. “It is humbling to know that 53 million doses have been administered to people in the U.S. We are encouraged by the primary analysis of the Phase 3 COVE study of mRNA-1273 in adults ages 18 and above and this pediatric study will help us assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate in this important younger age population.”

Moderna’s study will enroll about 6,750 pediatric participants, the company said. The dosages will depend on age and will be given in two shots 28 days apart.

In Texas, study sites are located in Houston, Tomball, and Port Lavaca.

Pfizer says it is testing its vaccine on children ages 12 and older. Johnson & Johnson said last month it plans on testing its vaccine in infants (even newborns), as well as pregnant women, and is already running trials on children ages 12 to 18.

In other news:

  • Dallas County health officials reported 311 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, and 11 deaths, including a woman in her 30s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Balch Springs with underlying high-risk health conditions. Two of those cases were one of the newer variants of the virus.
  • Public Utility Commission Chair Arthur D’Andrea resigned Tuesday night at Gov. Greg Abbott’s request. He was the only remaining member of the three-member board.
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday night that energy wholesaler Griddy’s bankruptcy plan will also include wiping the bills of customers — most of whom received high bills during the winter storm.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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