Safe COVID vaccine for kids? Stanford researchers are working to make it happen in Pfizer study

By Caleigh Wells

When will toddlers have a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine? Stanford started a study this week to find the right dosage for kids under age 12. Photo by By Anatta_Tan/Shutterstock.

On April 15, everyone in California ages 16 and older became eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Right now, there’s no approved pediatric vaccine, even as kids across the state have returned to in-person classrooms.

That’s why this week, the medical school at Stanford started a study, where they’re administering Pfizer shots to kids as young as 2. It’s a big piece missing in the quest to achieve a new normal.

“Kids make up 20% of the population, so we’ll definitely need to have them involved to reach herd immunity. It might take a little bit of time, but being careful is the best that we can do,” says clinical trials specialist Dr. Jenna Bollyky, who’s working on the Pfizer study at Stanford.

Bollyky says step one is finding a safe dosage for kids. Adults who received the Pfizer vaccine get 30 micrograms. This study is starting with three micrograms for older children.

“The phase one study is working to give children under the age of 12 the vaccine and find the right dose to make sure it’s safe and efficacious,” she says.

Parents enroll their kids in this study, and Bollyky says her patients are adventurous, curious, and willing to participate.

Credits

Guest:

  • Dr. Jenna Bollyky - internal medicine/clinical trials specialist working on the Stanford study

Host:

Michell Eloy