Adults across the U.S. have already begun to receive COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer (PFE 1.11%) and Moderna (MRNA -1.49%). But what about kids? In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Dec. 18, 2020, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and Fool.com writer Keith Speights discuss when COVID vaccines will be evaluated for use in children.
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Corinne Cardina: Another question. Sanjay asked, "At what point will the vaccine be evaluated for safety to administer to kids?" I feel like a lot of parents out there in the world want to know this. It impacts schools opening.
I actually have an interesting article I read about this that I will drop in the chat from the conversation. But Moderna is actually starting to look at testing their vaccine in people age 12 to 18 last week. Keith, are there any other companies that are looking at the question of children and adolescents?
Keith Speights: Pfizer has already begun testing kids ages 12 and up. Like I said earlier, Pfizer's Emergency Use Authorization is for individuals ages 16 and up. So teenagers 16 to 17 years old can take the Pfizer vaccine, whereas assuming Moderna wins EUA, theirs will be 18 and up.
So Pfizer has already started studying children ages just 12 and up; AstraZeneca (AZN 0.34%) has announced some plans to do so as well. I would anticipate that others like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 1.52%) will probably expand their studies to include children down to 12.
The real question is, "What happens after that, and do they go down to much younger children?" I don't think any of the companies have talked a lot about that so far, so I don't think that's as pressing of a priority just now, but I would anticipate that once they get some good data on kids 12 and up, then that would be a logical next step to start taking a look at younger children. But that remains to be seen for now.