Clinical trials for a children's COVID-19 vaccine are underway

We’re encouraged to see drug companies expand their vaccine clinical trials to include babies and younger children. These trials will provide critical safety data, and help us better understand the vaccine’s immune response in children. Vaccinating kids is a crucial step in our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and move closer towards normalcy.

At this time, we don’t have a clear answer as to when a vaccine will be available for those under 16. But as we wait, we must continue to mask up, avoid crowds, wash our hands and maintain physical distance from others.

Here’s where current pediatric vaccine trials stand:

  • Moderna recently announced that it will begin testing its vaccine in nearly 7,000 children between the ages of 6 months to 12 years.
  • Both Moderna and Pfizer have begun testing their vaccines in children age 12 and over.
  • Johnson & Johnson also plans to test its vaccine in adolescents age 12 to 17, followed by another study for newborns and children under age 17.

Since a child’s immune system is different from an adult’s, COVID-19 vaccines for younger children, especially, may require different dosage levels or formulations than the adult versions.

For additional information on COVID-19 vaccines for children, click here.

As of March 29, all Ohioans age 16 and over are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

We encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated as soon as they can. Vaccinating everyone who is eligible is important to slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

Teenagers under the age of 18 who are coming to a Cleveland Clinic vaccination site must be accompanied by a parent or guardian or provide written consent from their parent or guardian in order to receive the vaccine.

Read some frequently asked questions below regarding young people and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: Will people as young as 16 be able to receive the vaccine at all Cleveland Clinic vaccine locations?

A: Cleveland Clinic is anticipating receiving doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the next several weeks and will be able to offer vaccinations to those ages 16 and older at all of our Ohio locations.

Q: Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?

A: Yes, if you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.

According to the CDC, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.

Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.

Q: Are people under the age of 16 eligible to receive the vaccine?

A: Because a child’s immune system is different from an adult’s, COVID-19 vaccines for younger children, especially, may require different dosage levels or formulations than the adult versions. The ongoing trials are investigating this. At the moment, the currently approved COVID vaccines are authorized for use in individuals 16 and older. Kids generally can’t get the vaccine until it is approved for their specific age.