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Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt starting pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trial

Moderna Vaccine
Posted at 4:34 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 21:34:06-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is beginning pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trials. COVID-19 vaccines are currently not approved for anyone under 16.

Vanderbilt is looking to enroll at least 100 healthy kids from the ages of 6 months to 11 years old for their new pediatric Moderna vaccine trial.

Dr. Buddy Creech says the vaccine is the same one currently being given to adults, that's why in this trial it's important to assess the best dose to use in different age groups.

In this case, the study will first look at children 6 to 11 years old; then 2- to 5-year-olds; and finally, ages 6 months to up to 2 years.

"In the first part, everyone gets the vaccine and know they are getting it but getting different dose levels to examine dosage and side effects," Dr. Creech said. "Once we decide on the dose, we'll go into the second stage of study where we give some of the people the vaccine and some the placebo."

Dr. Creech says although children have been relatively unaffected by the virus, getting them vaccinated could be effective in moving us to a point where life goes back to normal.

"First it allows us to protect more people including adults who can't get vaccinated," Dr. Creech said. "Secondly, we do these trials because we don't know where this pandemic is going like a new variant may emerge that does cause more disease in children."

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is currently looking for children to join the trial. If you are interested in enrolling your child, you can learn more at the Vanderbilt Research Program website.

This follows big news from Pfizer. The company announced the results of a small study looking at kids ages 12 to 15.

Pfizer reports the Pfizer vaccine was found to be safe and strongly protective in children as young as 12.

Dr. Creech says this is promising news ahead of their pediatric vaccine trial.

Meharry Medical College has also been selected as a site for Moderna’s pediatric clinical trial.