Teens cannot be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine when inoculated by adults, as there is no evidence of safety and efficacy yet.
However, teenage volunteers such as Allyson Eisenman from San Jose are taking part in the Kaiser study, which has the potential to accelerate the potential use of vaccines, to bring it closer.
“I really wanted to be able to help get out of this,” Eisenmann said, 17, “and hopefully it will return to a new normal one.
“I’m not good at needles,” she confessed. “But it was like any other shot.”
So far, vaccination has focused on adults. why? That’s because when you get infected you’re less lucky than youth. Also, that’s the way traditional research is done. Vaccine and drug testing in adolescents usually begins only after the product has proven to be completely safe and effective in adults.
Still, pediatricians say it is imperative that teens be included in the COVID-19 vaccine test early. Thousands of illnesses and more than 100 deaths have been reported since the early days of the pandemic, and the number of youth cases is increasing, they say.
Without research, we wouldn’t know if they would react like adults. Children are not the only miniature adults — they may experience different side effects or require lower doses.
“We know that teenagers can get infected. We know that everyone is susceptible to this disease,” said Kaiser Permanente, director of the Vaccine Research Center, Northern California. Dr. Nikola Klein, Principal Investigator of the Exam in California, said.
“Children under the teens are not expected to get so many illnesses,” she said. “But they get sick and get infected. It really affected their lives, just as it affected everyone in the world.”
In September, the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration to encourage children’s vaccine research.
Allyson and colleagues are enrolled in a trial by Pfizer Inc., the first pharmaceutical company in the United States, and have been approved by the FDA to test vaccines in children up to 12 years of age. There is still no second promising vaccine produced by Moderna. Tests are planned for young people.
Pfizer recently published preliminary results that suggest that vaccines are more than 90% effective, at least for short-term protection against the virus.
The FDA will be able to evaluate the data collected from adults in December and quickly take the initiative in distributing limited ration supplies. Vaccines are given to adolescents only after the test results have been analyzed.
Kaiser aims to test the vaccine in 100 young people between the ages of 16 and 17 at the Santa Clara and Sacramento facilities. In the coming weeks, the trial will be expanded to include 100 young teens between the ages of 12 and 15. The overall goal of the Pfizer Trial is to enroll a total of 2,000 adolescents.
“We should have a vaccine for our children. Children can die from this virus,” said the director of the Vaccine Education Center and a pediatric professor of infectious diseases at the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. One Dr. Paul A. Ofit said. “The number of children who died of the virus last year was about the same as the number of children who died of the flu, and I think it deserves prevention.”
Children should not be injected with inactive placebo if vaccination is safely deployed in adults, Ofitt added at a Friday briefing at the National Press Foundation. Instead, the study should be transformed into a so-called “wedge trial”, where the number of young volunteers is steadily increasing and should be compared to the response of unvaccinated adolescents.
Alison’s mother and father, who have a career in nursing and information technology, have already participated in the vaccine trial and supported the decision to enroll Alison after experiencing no adverse effects other than lethargy.
“This is our opportunity to contribute to the situation,” Jeff Eisenmann said at a press conference on Friday.
“I’ve seen vaccines work, whether measles or polio,” he said. “My opinion is that someone needs to do that. I need volunteers.”
The study is “placebo-controlled,” with half of the participants vaccinated and the other half receiving the Inactive drug, so Alison is not sure if she is protected. She was given twice every 21 days.
For safety, Branham High School juniors are still wearing masks and socially distanced during gymnastics exercises and Girl Scouts meetings.
Once a week she checks in to Kaiser. She reports her temperature and symptoms on the Kaiser app. She will be followed for 2 years. “It’s easy,” she said.
“I’m not really a scientist,” she admitted. “It’s definitely my worst subject in my freshman year.
“But the health and safety of the people around me is important to me,” she said. “That’s what influenced my contribution.”
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