Rutgers seeks parents willing to enlist babies, toddlers in COVID-19 vaccine trials
Rutgers University is looking for parents willing to enlist their babies and young children in COVID-19 vaccine trials.
Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is in search of children who are 6 months to 4 years old. The trials are aimed at finding the correct dosage for children, monitoring side effects of the vaccine and tracking rates of infection.
“The enrollment in this age group, unfortunately, has been very slow,” says Dr. Sunanda Gaur.
Gaur says herd immunity nationwide is at 60%. She says that vaccinating children for COVID-19 will only help to increase that percentage.
“We need to reach much higher in order to really stop this virus in its track. And children make up a large proportion of the population,” Gaur says. “This is sort of the last age group we need to bring into the fold.”
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Rutgers was directly involved in clinical trials for the vaccine for adults and children ages 5-11, before the Food & Drug Administration granted authorization.
Children are already receiving a regimen of vaccines, including shots for rotavirus, DTaP, hepatitis B and polio. Is it possible that the COVID-19 vaccine will be added to this list in the future?
“We don’t know yet, is how I would answer. There’s a lot we have to learn,” says Gaur.
The trial is a two-year commitment for families that volunteer. Similar trials are going on currently across the country.
Families interested in volunteering can be from New Jersey or out of state. More information about volunteering for the trial can be found at the medical school’s website.