Even as scientists race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, experts acknowledge that children could be among the last to be vaccinated, as reported by ABC News.
At least 10 vaccines are being tested in people across the world, with US infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci suggesting it is possible that studies in children might "catch up" to those in adults, if they are done correctly. "There is no reason not to believe that [a vaccine] wouldn't be available simultaneously for adults and children," Fauci said.
However, other vaccine experts said studies among children could take much longer to complete, and a hard look at the timeline of ongoing vaccine trials raises questions about whether families can expect their children to be vaccinated at some point in the upcoming academic school year, the news source said.
The process for testing a COVID-19 vaccine in children could take "extra months and maybe years longer," according to Paul Duprex, director of the Center for Vaccine Research and professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
Pfizer said it plans to advance a vaccine into children once positive data from Phases I and II testing is available in adults. Meanwhile, Inovio Pharmaceuticals said it plans "to assess pediatric populations in the future."
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is collaborating with pharmaceutical companies for vaccine trials, said "we will continue to plan for follow-on clinical trials to include younger age groups so such trials can commence if epidemiological CDC data indicate a need to test COVID-19 vaccines in children."
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