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Moderna begins new COVID-19 vaccine trials on children, including infants as young as 6 months

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First US vaccine maker to test on babies

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Moderna has launched COVID-19 vaccine trials on children beginning Tuesday, including babies as young as 6 months old, ABC News reported.

Moderna has become the first U.S. biopharmaceutical company to do so.

What are the details?

The company announced Tuesday it has begun the process of testing its vaccine product on children age 6 months and up, and plans to enroll about 7,000 children ranging in age from 6 months to 12 years in the U.S. and in Canada.

Dr. Jacqueline Miller, a pediatrician as well as the company's therapeutic area head for infectious diseases, told "Good Morning America" that the "first part is where we will find the appropriate dose of the vaccine."

"Children often need lower doses of vaccines than adults, and we want to make sure we find the best dose that increases their immunity," she said.

Miller also noted that the first round trials will begin in the 6 to 11 age group, followed by children age 2 to 6 years, and finally, children 6 months to 2 years of age.

Dr. Steve Plimpton, a principal investigator in the Moderna study, has already begun the process of enrolling patients for the trial.

"We're not only going to benefit the children by getting them vaccinated, now we're also going to be protecting those around those children, the teachers the parents at home, the grandparents," he added.

One parent, Rachel Guthrie, said that she enrolled two of her children in the trial.

"I think it's very important because we are exposed to people who might be immunocompromised or who haven't yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated," she insisted.

What else?

NPR reported that in the study, researchers will give "two injections 28 days apart of either the Moderna or a saline placebo to children."

"Kids who get the vaccine will receive one of three possible doses, from 25 micrograms up to 100 micrograms – the same dose that received an emergency authorization for use in adults from the Food and Drug Administration [in December]," the outlet noted.

According to the report, physicians will check in with the children's families over a period of two visits following each injection, followed by monthly check-ins.

The child study is being coordinated with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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