Cambridge-based biotech firm Moderna is planning a clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine with children ages 12 through 17.
The study will include 3,000 children, according to its listing on clincaltrials.gov, to begin the first step in the process of getting young people vaccinated.
Similar to adults trials, participants would take two doses of the vaccine over a four-week span. Half of the group would receive a placebo.
A timeline for when the trial will begin remains unclear, but Moderna’s CEO said he hopes it can be completed by the spring in order to receive FDA approval in time for the start of the 2021 school year.
Moderna is awaiting emergency clearance from the FDA after data confirmed the vaccine is more than 94% effective in preventing COVID-19. Moderna is the second drugmaker to seek emergency use after Pfizer applied for the same authorization on Nov. 20.
Some Americans could get the first doses of Moderna's two-dose vaccine within a few weeks.
The first coronavirus vaccines could arrive in Massachusetts as early as this month, Gov. Charlie Baker said earlier this week, but it will likely be months before the general public can get vaccinated.
The first doses will likely be reserved for frontline health care workers, people over the age of 65 or with underlying health conditions and other essential workers. The state is preparing to submit its final plan for vaccine acceptance and distribution to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on Friday.