NEW YORK (AP) – When will children be able to receive COVID-19 vaccines?
It depends on the age of the child, but some teenagers may roll up their sleeves too long ago.
The Pfizer vaccine is now approved for use from the age of 16. This means that some high school students may stand in line for these shots when they become admissible in their area, either due to a medical condition or after a stock is opened.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have completed enrollment in studies of children 1
Researchers start with older children because they tend to respond to vaccines most similarly to adults. Testing even younger groups is more complicated because they may require a different dose or have different reactions.
“Children are not just young adults,” said pediatrician Dr. James Campbell of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The younger you get, the greater the chance that things will be different.”
Children develop a serious illness or die from COVID-19 at much lower levels than adults, but they can still spread the virus.
“There is no doubt: we want to immunize children,” said Dr. Sarah Long, a professor of pediatrics at Drexel University.
Pfizer and Moderna expect to begin research in children 11 and younger later this year.
“We could hardly get protection from the community without immunizing the children,” Long added. “It’s the connection to bring everything back to some kind of normalcy.”
AP answers your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Send them to: FactCheck@AP.org.
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