Lack of participation in child vaccine trial could delay approval

Pfizer Vaccine Study for Kids Under 5
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 8:41 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Right now, there are about 18 million Americans not eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. They’re all children under the age of 5.

It’s the only age group without an authorized vaccine, but a research clinic in Lincoln is hoping to help speed up the process.

Becca Henry of Lincoln is a mom of two. Both of her children are enrolled in the Pfizer vaccine study for children under the age of 5.

“It’s important to me to have my own children protected and also just very important to protect others around us,” Henry said.

Pfizer selected Meridian Clinical Research as a study site. Enrollment started two weeks ago and they have 20 kids signed up so far. Becca was concerned for the safety of her children, but wanted to get them vaccinated.

“The benefit very much outweighs the concern at this point,” she said.

Dr. Jay Meyer with Meridian said Pfizer is looking for 9,000 kids across the world to participate. Right now, there aren’t enough enrolled. He said that could further delay the vaccine’s approval.

“They have to get enough to make the studies powered and to make the results good enough that they can be validated,” Dr. Meyer said. “So, more is always better until you reach the goal that Pfizer is looking to reach.”

There is a vaccine for children 5 and older, but vaccination rates have been low. In Lancaster County, only 37% of children ages 5 through 11 are fully vaccinated.

“We just want to show that it is safe, and it is effective,” Henry said.

Pfizer has said it hopes to submit new data to the FDA on children younger than 5 in May, but Dr. Meyer said it could take up to six months for vaccine approval.

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