An engineer shows off an experimental vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus that has been tested in the quality control laboratory of the Sinovac Biotech facility in Beijing.
Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said coronavirus vaccines for children may not be recommended when they first become available.
The statement, published on the CDC website As of Wednesday, most drug companies working on a potential coronavirus vaccine only tested non-pregnant, healthy adults. The studies are expected to be expanded to children and pregnant women, but it is unclear when researchers will have enough data to make a recommendation for these groups. It is possible that the vaccines could be approved for restricted use in the US before studies in children are completed, medical experts say.
“The groups recommended to receive the vaccines may change in the future,” the agency wrote.
Pregnant women and children are often the last to be tested in clinical trials as researchers assess safety risks, medical experts say. AstraZeneca, a frontrunner in the coronavirus vaccine race, announced earlier this year that it would test its vaccine in a Phase 2 study in children. Moderna supposedly plans to start a pediatric study this year.
However, children in the United States were not expected to be among the first to receive a vaccine.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine last month released a draft proposal to distribute a coronavirus vaccine in the United States, if one is approved for public use. The proposed guidelines were developed at the request of the National Institutes of Health and the CDC.
The vaccine would be distributed in four phases, with health workers, the elderly, and people with underlying health conditions being vaccinated first, according to the group. Next on the list are key workers, teachers and people in shelters for the homeless and people in prisons, followed by children and young adults.
The CDC also said there may be a limited supply of vaccines before the end of 2020, but the supply will continue to grow over the weeks and months that follow.