There is optimism in the medical community as Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced Tuesday that it had begun clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in children under 12 – all the way down to babies as young as 6 months old.
"Even though it does seem like we're going from 12-year-olds all the way down to a much younger age group, at every step of the way, you're being very careful to monitor the children to make sure we're not seeing anything out of the ordinary," said Dr. Rick Malley of Boston Children's Hospital.
Malley says the trials will include different dosing levels, starting with much smaller doses for the study's initial participants, then gradually increasing doses with future participants.
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"What you're interested in is mostly safety and the antibody response that the children make after receiving the vaccine," said Malley.
Some parents who spoke with NBC10 Boston had concerns about giving children and babies this young the relatively new vaccine.
"I just think that the vaccine has been produced so quickly, in young children, I would err on the side of caution as a parent," said Sutton parent Debbie Hanna.
But other parents were grateful that there may soon be an option to protect their kids from COVID-19.
"I have no problem vaccinating younger kids," said Auburn parent Pete Boisvert. "They get vaccinated for polio, for rubella. All those things pretty much disappeared."
At the same time that Moderna has started this trial in younger children, they're continuing a separate study in 12- to 17-year-olds, hoping to have results on that study by the summer.