URMC conducting COVID-19 vaccine trials on children as young as 6 months

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have signed off on shots for five to 11-years-old against COVID-19. Now trials are already underway for infants and children under the age of five.

"So we know from many, many years of history that vaccines have been critical to eliminating or nearly eliminating terrible diseases. And this is no exception," said Dr. Tina Sosa, a pediatrician at URMC.

"As a pediatrician and a mom, I thought the best thing to do for my kids and to help advance the science for all children was to enroll my kids in the trial to give them the opportunity to get this vaccine as soon as possible and help to contribute to getting all children vaccinated as soon as possible," Sosa added.

Sosa’s 9-month-old son is currently enrolled in a Moderna trial. Her 4-year-old is taking part in a Pfizer dosage trial. He was 3-years-old at the time of vaccination, last spring.

"He ended up receiving the dose that the five to 11-year-olds are now going to receive moving forward, even though he was three at the time. The vaccine was very well tolerated. He actually did not have any side effects to either dose," Sosa said.

As for when pediatric doses could be given the greenlight, Doctor Sosa says she doesn’t have an inside scoop. She says, much like the vaccine for the five to 11-year-olds, it can rapidly change if more data is needed.

"If they need to enroll more children in the studies to get additional safety and effectiveness data, they do that. So all of that data review is really ongoing. I think what our message would be as pediatricians is we hope that this vaccine is available to all children as soon as possible. But we know the most important thing is making sure we have a safe and effective regimen," Sosa said.

Locally those pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trials are ongoing. URMC is participating in both the Moderna and Pfizer trials with children as young as 6 months old.