Moderna, AstraZeneca, other vaccine companies to start COVID-19 trials on children

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A COVID-19 vaccine could soon be on the way for children.

Some clinical trials – like Pfizer – have already started, while others will soon be underway.

The vaccine has been relatively safe so far in adults, and doctors are hopeful for the same results in children.

Meanwhile, area moms are split on the issue.

Aurora Children’s Health Medical Director Dr. Kevin Dahlman said most kids may not get as sick as adults with COVID-19.

But they can still get it, carry it and transmit it.

“They process viruses differently, they handle vaccines differently. So because of that, it really is important as a society that we do our due diligence," said Dahlman.

“Like the more people that can get it, the more we can leave the house and interact with people, so I’m excited," said Sara Fierst, Wauwatosa mom of a two-year-old girl.

Pfizer and Moderna now have trials for children 12 and older.

Johnson and Johnson plan to test younger ages, Moderna too.

AstraZeneca also announced a new trial for children.

“We don’t know what the most effective dose is," said Dr. William Hartman. 

Hartman is the principal investigator for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 trial at UW Health.

“Likely, it’s going to be reduced compared to the adults, but we have to find out where is that happy dose. We suspect it will be lower," he explained.

Milwaukee mom of four, Symphony Zawadi, is hesitant about the vaccine.

She said there’s still not enough known about the virus, itself.

“I wouldn’t give my kids anything that I wouldn’t give myself," said Zawadi.

Suzannah Dunckel, of Shorewood, is seven months pregnant with her first child.

“I’m not really quite sure how, especially in an infant, how it could affect their development.”

Dr. Hartman said they hope to have the AstraZeneca trials done by the summer.

Like other vaccine companies, the goal is to have a federally approved vaccine before school starts in the fall.

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