A new clinical trial involving children as young as sis is to start as Oxford University and AstraZeneca have developed a new drug.
Scientists will asses whether the jab will produce a strong immune response in children aged between six and 17-years-old, and researchers will test on 300 volunteers.
Professor of paediatric infection and immunity, and chief investigator of the vaccine trial Andrew Pollard said, “While most children are relatively unaffected by coronavirus and are unlikely to become unwell with the infection, it is important to establish the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young people as some children may benefit from vaccination.”
England deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told ITV News, “It is perfectly possible that we will have some licensed children’s vaccines for Covid-19 by the end of the year.”
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said, “In children, the evidence is now clear that Covid-19 is associated with a considerably lower burden of morbidity and mortality compared to that seen in the elderly.
“There is also some evidence that children may be less likely to acquire the infection. ‘The role of children in transmission, once they have acquired the infection, is unclear, although there is no clear evidence that they are any more infectious than adults.”
Oxford University said they are conducting the first clinical trial in the 6 to 17-year-old age group, whilst other trials have begun, but only measuring efficacy in those aged between16 and 17.
Paediatrician and clinician-scientist at the Oxford Vaccine Group Rinn Song said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound negative impact on the education, social development and emotional well-being of children and adolescents, beyond illness and rare severe disease presentations.
“It is therefore important to collect data on the safety and the immune response to our coronavirus vaccine in these age groups, so that they could potentially benefit from inclusion in vaccination programs in the near future.”