Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine on January 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine on January 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Moderna to begin COVID-19 vaccine trial on Canadian children as young as 6 months

The company intends to enroll about 6,750 children in Canada and the U.S.

Moderna says clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine will include Canadian children, but experts say it’s unlikely students will receive one before the next school year in September.

The company announced details of its Phase 2/3 study of COVID-19 earlier this week. It’s expected to involve 6,750 healthy pediatric participants aged six months to 12 years.

Moderna says initial participants are based in the United States but that Canadian sites will be added as the trial progresses.

The biotech company says it hasn’t yet chosen the Canadian sites, nor Canadian participants.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel says it’s an important age group to study.

The trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of two doses given 28 days apart. Participants will be followed for one year after the second vaccination.

In addition to Moderna, Canada has approved vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca for adult use, although the Pfizer product can be used by people as young as 16.

Dr. Caroline Quach of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization said Tuesday that she expected to see trial data from Pfizer involving 12-to-15-year-olds in two-to-three months.

But she said she didn’t expect one would be ready and approved for Canadian children before the end of the year.

AstraZeneca has also started a trial with younger age groups, while Johnson & Johnson is expected to run a vaccine trial involving teens this spring in Toronto and Burlington, Ont.

But like Quach, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser did not expect to have a vaccine ready for children by the time school starts in September.

“I think that timeline may be a bit optimistic,” Dr. Supriya Sharma said earlier this month.

“The trials in children tend to be a bit slower to get up and running in terms of recruiting individuals. And then of course, we have to conduct the trials and then take that information and assess that.

“It’s not inconceivable that we might have some data in the summer, and potentially by the end of this calendar year we might have some indications in children, but that’s still pretty optimistic.”

Coronavirusvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth gets combative with police at Victoria hospital

VicPD officer injured, youth kept in care under Mental Health Act

A man with a history of sexual offences was arrested after he followed and aggressively tried to talk to two young woman on the weekend. Black Press File Photo
Man convicted of sexual offences arrested after teens followed in Victoria

Women hid in a Quadra Village convenience store as man aggressively tried to get in

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School April 14 to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
SD61’s proposed $7 million cuts threaten equity and inclusion, say parents, teachers

Music classes, inclusion services, reading programs on the line

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read