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As vaccine eligibility expands, Georgia children wait to be included

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 10:54 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As vaccine clinics continue to serve those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, there’s one group that isn’t included in the current rollout, and that’s teens and children.

Currently no approved vaccine is good for teens younger than 16. While data shows children are not as severely impacted by COVID-19, they can still catch the virus, develop symptoms and transmit the virus to others. For example here in the Coastal Health District the age group of those from newborns to 19 years old makes up about 15 percent of our cases, according to the most recent data. Health leaders say research is being done right now on a vaccine for children.

“Of the three vaccines that are currently approved under the EUA [Emergency Use Authorization] process, two have pretty advanced phase two and three clinical trials for adolescents to younger children, so the Pfizer and Moderna have been actively enrolling for some time. Probably some of the first evidence around how effective and safe is it in these younger children will be available to us by the end of this month,” said Dr. Stephen Thacker, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Memorial Health.

He says Johnson & Johnson’s enrollment process is getting underway on adolescents and younger children. Many feel this progress will help as we strive for herd immunity against COVID-19.

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