COVID-19 vaccine trial in kids as young as 6 months old may come to Austin after teen trial

Texas Coronavirus Vaccine

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the trial in children is still in development.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-based Benchmark Research is working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine trial in children ranging from as young as six months to 11 years old. A trial in teens ages 12-17 is already underway in Austin, and the trial in children much younger would be a follow-up to that study.

The new trial will test the Moderna vaccine’s efficacy in kids. Benchmark Research estimates the timeline for possible approval of the trial would be two or three months, but it would depend on a number of factors including the data gathered from the teen trial.

The company’s principal investigator, Laurence Chu, said when working with a group this young, ethical and safety questions become paramount.

“There are always concerns whenever we’ve done clinical research with the pediatric population,” Chu said. “We try to take all the precautions possible.”

The new study would use doses similar to what the teen group receives. For every two kids who get the actual vaccine, a third will get the placebo.

“That’s always a concern for many, that we have a placebo arm in it,” Chu said.

Benchmark is still actively enrolling teens in that trial, which began Jan. 29, and is also seeking adults to participate in others.

Those interested in participating should call 1-888-902-9605 or visit: www.benchmarkresearch.net to learn more.

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