How long until COVID vaccines are available for kids?

Children are getting their body temperatures checked.
Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, teachers check students before a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas, in July 2020.
LM Otero | AP Photo 2020

One COVID-19 vaccine is already approved for use in 16 year olds, but vaccines for younger kids could soon be on the way.

Moderna announced on Tuesday that vaccine trials for kids older than 6 months and younger than 12 years old are underway, and other vaccine makers are testing their formulas on children as well.

Kids can get COVID-19. In very rare cases, the infection is fatal, but, in most cases, the virus affects children less severely than adults. However, kids can and do spread the virus. Children make up roughly a quarter of the population, and if kids aren’t vaccinated, the virus could continue to mutate and spread.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicted that high schoolers could be vaccinated before they head back to school this fall and that students as young as first grade may be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year or early 2022.

MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with two medical professionals about the latest research on kids, COVID-19 and vaccines.

Guests:

  • Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse is a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center.

  • Dr. Tina Tan is a professor of pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and an attending physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

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