Covid Trials for Kids Get Started With First Results by Mid-2021

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Covid Trials for Kids Get Started With First Results by Mid-2021” – below is their description.

    Trials to make sure vaccines are safe for the young are beginning in earnest. Pfizer and Moderna Inc. started recruiting participants at the end of last year, and could have data from studies by summer. The University of Oxford, which developed a vaccine with AstraZeneca Plc, is planning initial tests in 12- to 18-year-olds next month.

    “If you want to get this under control, you need to vaccinate kids,” said Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson. He estimates J&J will start trials for children four to six weeks after receiving results from its adult studies, which are expected by early February.

    Governments around the world have repeatedly shut schools and nurseries to help curb the virus, burdening working parents and the economy. While the young don’t generally suffer from severe Covid, immunizing them could reduce the spread to people at higher risk.

    “The main rationale for vaccinating children, given that they’re relatively unaffected, would be to try and have an impact on transmission of the virus,” said Andrew Pollard, lead investigator on the Oxford trials, in an interview.

    The adolescent trial of the Pfizer vaccine, created with German partner BioNTech SE, has completed enrollment, with 2,000 volunteers ages 12 to 15 participating, according to John Vanchiere, principal investigator for the trial site at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport. A Pfizer spokesperson declined to confirm that enrollment was finished, and said the company will share data in time.

    Moderna gave its first doses to young volunteers in December, and plans to have initial data from its 3,000-strong trial of 12- to 18-year-olds in time for possible approval before the 2021 school year. But the company has been struggling with enrollment, said Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser to the U.S.’s Operation Warp Speed program, which aims to accelerate the development and distribution of vaccines.

    “It’s been a real challenge,” Slaoui said at a briefing Wednesday. After four weeks, Moderna and its partners at the National Institutes of Health had “only recruited about 800 subjects in the trial,” he said.

    A spokesperson for Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said enrollment was lower over the holiday season but that the company expects a pickup and is on track to provide data by around mid-year.

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