Drug manufacturers have tested their COVID-19 vaccine candidates on healthy adults, not on pregnant women and children. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they cannot make informed recommendations on whether children should get vaccinated until researchers have enough data to vouch for the safety and efficacy of the drugs in this group.
According to CNBC, medical experts said that clinical trials only include pregnant women and children after initial trials on healthy adults have been conducted and can verify their safety. The obvious reason researchers shy away from using pregnant women in clinical trials for any sort of drug is that they do not know what effect it can have on the developing fetus. According to The Wall Street Journal, thalidomide and diethylstilbestrol, known as DES, were once prescribed to pregnant women until it was found they caused serious health problems to unborn children.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson plan to initiate pediatric trials within 12 months of establishing the safety and efficacy of vaccines for adults, according to USNews.Info. Other drug companies in the COVID-19 vaccine race, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, said they will also include youth in their clinical trials in the future. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued an urgent appeal to vaccine manufacturers to consider the safety of children when developing antiviral drugs to fight COVID-19.
Pediatricians warn that until the safety of a vaccine for children is established, parents may be reluctant to have their youngsters immunized against COVID-19. According to CNN, the National Poll on Children’s Health released last month found that one-third of parents have no plans to vaccinate their children despite the possibility they can become infected. According to CNBC, children in the U.S. will therefore not be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
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