When will children get COVID vaccines?

Adults across the United States have already started receiving COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer ( DPF -0.76% ) and Modern (ARNM -0.42% ). But what about children? In this Motley Fool live video recorded December 18, 2020, Office of Health and Cannabis chief Corinne Cardina and Fool.com writer Keith Speights discuss when COVID vaccines will be evaluated for use in children.

Corinne Cardin: Another question. Sanjay asked, “When will the vaccine be evaluated for safety to give to children?” I feel like a lot of parents around the world want to know that. This impacts the opening of schools.

I actually have an interesting article I read about it that I’m going to drop in the conversation chat. But Moderna actually began considering testing its vaccine in people between the ages of 12 and 18 last week. Keith, are there any other companies looking at the issue of children and adolescents?

Keith Speights: Pfizer has already started testing children 12 and older. As I said earlier, Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization is for people ages 16 and older. So teens 16-17 can take the Pfizer vaccine, whereas assuming Moderna wins the EUA, theirs will be 18 and older.

Pfizer has therefore already begun to study children aged 12 and over; Astra Zeneca (AZN -1.85% ) also announced its intention to do so. I expect others to like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -1.07% ) will likely expand their studies to include children up to age 12.

The real question is, “What happens after that, and does it affect much younger children?” I don’t think any of the companies have talked about it much so far, so I don’t think it’s such an urgent priority right now, but I do anticipate that once they get some good data on children 12 years and older, then it would be a logical next step to start looking at young children. But that remains to be seen for now.

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