There’s been a lot of talk about a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Almost every day there’s a new update. But there’s been little to no update about a COVID-19 vaccine specifically for children. And now, experts worry it won’t come until late 2021.

What’s going on?

Children will have to wait longer than their parents to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, The New York Times reports.

No trials have started in the United States to see if the current COVID-19 vaccine being made for adults is safe for children, too.

  • “Right now I’m pretty worried that we won’t have a vaccine available for kids by the start of next school year,” Dr. Evan Anderson, a pediatrician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, told The New York Times.
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Why isn’t there a COVID-19 vaccine for children?

Researchers often develop vaccines for adults to test out safety issues. Scientists will begin testing the vaccine for children after it’s deemed safe for adults.

  • The New York Times said: “Vaccine developers are keenly aware that children are not simply miniature adults. Their biology is different in ways that may affect the way vaccines work. Because their airways are smaller, for example, they can be vulnerable to low levels of inflammation that might be harmless to an adult.”
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What needs to be done?

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Researchers recently wrote in a commentary piece for the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases that vaccine developers need to work to create a vaccine for children.

  • “Carefully conducted Phase II clinical trials can adequately address potential COVID-19 vaccine safety concerns. Delaying Phase II vaccine clinical trials in children will delay our recovery from COVID-19 and unnecessarily prolong its impact upon children’s education, health and emotional well-being, and equitable access to opportunities for development and social success,” the researchers wrote.
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