CINCINNATI — Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital are starting phase-two testing of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to help determine the efficacy of the vaccine in children younger than 12 years old.
Phase one of testing helped establish how much of the vaccine is needed by different age groups, and now researchers are working to establish how much immunity from the virus each dose provides.
Researchers will use a process called "immunobridging" to compare the immune response among children to the immune response seen in adults and teenagers.
Dr. Bob Frenck from Cincinnati Children's Hospital said if young kids have the same level of immune response as adults, they will hypothesize that the level of protection in children will be about the same.
The next phase in testing couldn't come at a better time, either, as the number of cases in children is rising, Frenck said.
"A little more than a year ago, only about 2% of the cases in the US were in children," he told WCPO. "As of last week, 24% of the cases are in children. Children only make up about 17% of our population, so what that means now is that we're having a disproportionately higher percentage of children are getting infected."
Even as testing moves forward, Frenck said he would guess the vaccine would be available to children before the end of 2021.
"My original thought was it was going to be more around November or December of this year," Frenck said. "Pfizer has stated that they think that they will have sufficient data available by the end of August or September, so it's possible."
If you want to register your child for the next vaccine trial phase, click here.