Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine news, update: Oxford-AstraZeneca had also announced formally that their ChAdOX1-AZD 1222 Covid-19 vaccine candidate will be tested on children.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine news, update: Now, Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech has been mulling to start a human trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate with children and adolescents by September-end. (Reuters image)
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine news, update: Researchers around the world are racing against the time to develop a Coronavirus vaccine that would be safe and effective. So far, all these experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidates are meant for adults only. Data collected during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has hinted that the Coronavirus generally causes milder disease in children than in adults, but some cases of children requiring intensive care have been also reported, Reuters said quoting the World Health Organization (WHO). So, one thing is clear that children also need a vaccine, just like adults. That means injecting kids with an experimental product — a prospect that makes many parents nervous, as per a Bloomberg report.
Now, Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech has been mulling to start a human trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate with children and adolescents by September-end. Sinovac’s Coronavirus vaccine candidate is already in the final stage of study with adults. A total of 552 healthy participants aged between three and 17 will take two doses of the US-listed Sinovac’s CoronaVac or a placebo in a combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 trial estimated to begin on September 28 in the northern Chinese province of Hebei. The trial has already been approved by the Chinese regulator, a Sinovac spokesperson was quoted as saying by Reuters. Notably, CoronaVac is undergoing final-stage large-scale human trials in Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey. The vaccine has already been given to about 90 per cent of the company’s staff and their families.
However, it may take a little longer for a COVID-19 vaccine for children, kids to be developed. Traditionally, vaccines are being tested in human trials in a stepwise approach. The phase 1 clinical trial is meant for safety, phase 2 of the human trial shows the effectiveness and a large-scale phase 3 study is conducted with thousands of people. Once Phase 2 and Phase 3 human trials data reveals complete safety, then vaccine makers proceed with the clinical trial involving children.
So far, Pfizer-BioNTech has proposed an expansion of their human trial of the coronavirus vaccine candidate BNT162 to allow the firms to further increase trial population diversity and include adolescents as young as 16 years of age. Oxford-AstraZeneca had also announced formally that their ChAdOX1-AZD 1222 Covid-19 vaccine candidate will be tested on children. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the US, which has been collaborating with Moderna for the mRNA-1273 experimental COVID19 vaccine, has stated that it would continue to plan for follow-on clinical trials to include younger age groups so such trials can commence if epidemiological data by American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate a need to test COVID-19 vaccines in children.
However, it must be noted that finding a Coronavirus vaccine that works for the entire population, including younger people, could be crucial to preventing outbreaks of the SARS-CoV-2.