SEATTLE — Seattle Children's hospital is about the begin the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine trials. The hospital will begin trials on children between 5 and 11 years old next week. Seattle Children's is looking for children as young as 6 months old to participate throughout the summer.
"Many of them are really excited about it," said Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Dr. Janet Englund, who is helping lead the trial at Seattle Children's. "They want to know what research is; they want to know how they can help."
Kids will receive either a dose of the Pfizer vaccine or a placebo. The study will look at safety, side effects and whether kids develop antibodies like those 12 and older.
Englund said the trial has seen a flood of volunteers. Staff at Seattle Children's have been preparing kids and families for what to expect.
"We spend hours talking with families and children before they come in," explained Englund.
She added that children must consent to be in the trial, in addition to their parents.
Nationwide, Englund said 3,000 kids ages 5 to 11 will participate. She said the number was determined between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the pharmaceutical companies. She said Seattle Children's is one of dozens of hospitals in the trial.
"This is not the ultimate study," explained Englund. "The study has been done with 50,000 adults. This is a study that's called a bridging study. We're trying to get as many children involved as we can. But this will be a small study."
The hospital will also start trials this summer for kids between the ages of 2 and 5 years old and as young as 6 months old. The hospital is looking for kids to participate. Volunteers will be randomly selected.
Englund doesn't expect a vaccine to be approved by the fall when kids return to school. She thinks trial results should be completed in the next four to six months.
"Potentially, it could be done and go to the FDA possibly before the end of 2021. I think that's what everybody would like," said Englund.