The University of Maryland School of Medicine will take part in a coronavirus vaccine trial for young children that began this week.

The Baltimore school’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health will soon join the trial for the FDA-approved Moderna vaccine, The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday.

Dr. James Campbell, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the medical school and the principal investigator at the site, said the school aims to start participating in the trial by month’s end.

“We had so many families interested in having their children enrolled, we had to set up a website and get a contact list because we weren’t yet recruiting,” Campbell said, The Sun reported. “Now we’re ready.”

The UM Center has tested a host of pediatric vaccines, as well as coronavirus vaccines for adults, trials that are continuing, The Sun reported. Campbell said school officials would start recruiting for the trial as soon as the center gets approval from the company, federal regulators and the school’s internal review board.

The Moderna study, known as KIDCove, will look at the safety of the vaccine and side effects different from adults will be examined. Other properties to be probed include how well children produce antibodies that shield them from the disease.

Currently, three FDA-approved vaccines — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — are authorized for adult use, with the Pfizer drug designed for people 16 and older.

Studies are underway in children ages 12 to 16, meaning the vaccine could be made available before the next school year begins in the fall and the younger children will have to wait longer for inoculation, perhaps until 2022, The Sun reported.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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