ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The University of Rochester Medical Center will participate in a COVID-19 phase 2/3 vaccine trial in collaboration with Moderna, Inc., and Pfizer/BioNTech SE.
URMC plans to test the vaccine on 200-300 volunteers among healthy children aged 6 months to 11 years of age. The trials for Pfizer will begin enrollment for ages 5-11 on June 7, with Moderna trials expected to start in August.
“Preliminary data show that children have different disease manifestation with COVID, so it’s important to test the vaccine specifically in young children to make sure it’s safe and works,” Dr. Jennifer Nayak, associate professor in the department of Pediatrics and the division of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and Immunology said in a statement.
Officials say although COVID-19 tends to cause less severe illness in children, there have been several thousand children hospitalized from the virus, including children in the Rochester community.
“A pediatric vaccine will help provide parents with a level of comfort in getting kids fully back to normal life, including school and activities. It’s great that we have an authorized vaccine for children age 12-15 years and are moving quickly on starting trials for kids under 12,” Dr. Mary Caserta, professor in the department of Pediatrics, division of Infectious Diseases said in a statement.
Parents who are interested in volunteering their children for vaccine trials are encouraged to visit this website and click on the ‘get started’ link.