COLORADO SPRINGS – A COVID-19 vaccine for children 11 years or younger has yet to be approved, but vaccine trials are now underway at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
“We are one of 80 sites enrolling in this trial across the country,” said Dr. Eric Simone, head of the vaccine study.
The hospital has recruited what they consider to be healthy children between the ages of five and eleven.
Within the span of three weeks, each child will receive two doses of the vaccine or a placebo, while the parents are responsible for monitoring any side effects. After six months, participants and families will find out if they have received a placebo and will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine, and in addition, scheduled visits will be planned for the next two years.
“Don’t count on herd immunity to protect you, this virus is completely different from most other viruses,” Simone said. “It evolves.”
Doctors say they are concerned about mutations because children spread the virus more quickly.
“The virus didn’t seem to spread much in children, especially younger children. We knew that as children get older, they spread the virus more and more,” says Simone.
In Colorado, more than 2.6 million people have been fully vaccinated, but earlier this week the state said the majority of Covid-19 patients in the hospital had not been vaccinated.
“Hence the urgency to vaccinate children, the disease may be milder, but the virus will be transmitted, if more children get infected, because that’s where it’s going to spread, you’ll see an increase in the disease and it will be more severe,” said Simone.