Moderna announced Tuesday that children had begun to receive its coronavirus vaccine as part of a trial testing whether the shot is safe and effective on minors.
The trial, consisting of 6,750 children, will first vaccinate older kids in order to determine the correct dose of the vaccine in children ages six to 12, the company said in a press release. It will gradually move to younger children and infants as little as six months old.
Once the correct doses are calculated, the trial will move on to its next phase where it will be tested against a placebo in order to determine whether it is safe and triggers an immune response to COVID-19.
The study will examine markers in the participants’ blood, allowing them to see a protective immune response without waiting months to see whether the vaccine blocked participants from becoming sick.
Moderna and Pfizer have ongoing trials in minors as young as 12, and are on track to report their results soon, The New York Times reported. Both two-dose vaccines were approved by the FDA in December.
Johnson & Johnson, whose one-dose vaccine was approved for adult Americans in February, has not yet begun to test it on children, but announced plans to do so in two separate trials. The first focuses on children ages 12 to 18, while the second trial ranges from infants to 18-year-olds.
Moderna is seeking additional volunteers for its trial, and more information is available here.