The two-part trial will enroll nearly 7,000 kids from 6 months to 11 years old.By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – COVID-19 vaccines are on the minds of a lot of parents.

“Absolutely, I’d like one for infants,” says Caitlin Evans of Squirrel Hill.

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“They really need to be back with their peers, and the only way to really do that is to get people fully vaccinated,” says Em Bennett of the North Side.

“I absolutely want there to be a vaccine for kids. We have our son signed up for a research study so hopefully he’ll be able to get one,” says Dan Jacko of Verona.

Moderna has begun its vaccine trials in children.

“We’re getting a lot of questions from parents about first, will the vaccine be available for kids, when will it be available for kids, and should they get their child immunized,” says Dr. Joe Aracri of AHN Pediatric Allaince. “It all comes down to the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.”

The two-part trial will enroll nearly 7,000 kids from 6 months to 11 years of age.

In the first part, researchers will figure out the best dose that’s safe and effective for infants and children.

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In the second part, additional study participants will get the best dose or placebo.

“It’s important to make sure you are getting the intended result from the vaccine,” says Dr. Aracri.

Then they will be followed for 12 months.

“They’re going to look for how many of the kids get sick, how much of an illness they get,” Dr. Aracri says. “These things take time.”

The Allegheny Health Network and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are not participating in the vaccine trials at this time.

“It doesn’t seem like the kids are spreading the virus as much depending on age, but they do contribute to the overall herd for herd immunity,” says Dr. Aracri.

“If we find the vaccine is safe, which we think it probably will be, then the benefits outweigh the risk,” he adds.

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Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson have their own pediatric trials in the works. Currently, adults can get all COVID-19 vaccines available under emergency use authorization, though Pfizer’s is the only one authorized for people 16 and older.

Dr. Maria Simbra