Younger children are likely to be recruited to coronavirus vaccine trials so that any vaccines that are eventually authorized can be used to protect kids, a top US Food and Drug Administration official said.
Right now, children as young as 12 are testing Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. If it looks safe in children that young, regulators will consider testing the vaccine in younger kids, said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
“I suspect that there'll be some discussion about whether there were enough individuals in that age range to allow vaccination of younger individuals. There may or may not be,” Marks said during a web event with Vaccinate Your Family on Tuesday.
With adults and teens, researchers vaccinate half the volunteers with the vaccine and half get a saline shot as placebo, and they wait to see how many people in each group get infected naturally. But with the younger kids, Marks said, doctors may simply look to see if the children develop antibodies, or develop T-cell immunity.
“I suspect those studies will start very, very soon. Because, obviously, after the adult population is vaccinated, and obviously it would be ideally simultaneously, we will start to get children vaccinated particularly children at risk. But ultimately we all need to be vaccinated to stop this cycle of transmission,” Marks said.