UK seeks children under 12 to be part of Covid-19 vaccine trial

A preschool-aged girl in a tank top looks on as a health care provider gives her a shot in the upper arm

The University of Kentucky is seeking children from six months through 11 years old to participate in a federally funded clinical trial of the Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus.

UK is one of 90 sites in the U.S. and 10 sites in Canada that are in the trial, which will “define an age-appropriate dose, test the vaccine’s effectiveness, and monitor any potential side effects in children, collecting information to ensure safe use,” UK said in a news release.

The trial will enroll 7,050 children nationwide, in three age groups: 6-11, 2-6 and finally those 6 months to 2. UK will enroll up to 200 children to receive either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo, 28 days apart. They will be monitored for up to 14 months via phone calls, telemedicine visits and up to seven visits to the pediatric research clinic at UK HealthCare Turfland.

Participants will be compensated, and the vaccine “may protect young children from getting sick if they come into contact” with the virus, the release said.

Parents or guardians interested in enrolling their child in the  trial can go to, where they can answer a confidential pre-screening survey to help determine if a child qualifies and for what phase of the study. “Answering the survey does not obligate you or your child to participate,” the release said. “Please note that interest in this study might exceed enrollment capacity, and it could take several weeks for the study team to contact you.”
The UK study is led by Dr. George J. Fuchs III, chief of pediatric gastroenterology and vice chair of pediatric clinical affairs at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. “We are privileged for UK to be selected as a site for this important trial,” Fuchs said. “With all other age groups currently eligible for vaccination, it’s vital that we extend this to young children, which is critical to their own protection and to facilitate herd immunity in order to help bring an end to this pandemic.”
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