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Wear the Gown: When might children get the COVID-19 vaccine?

In time, all children will be eligible for immunization.

SAN ANTONIO — Coronavirus vaccines continue to be available to all adults in Texas, but children spread the disease just as easy as older people. 

Right now, those who are older than 15 and have a comorbidity based upon Centers for Disease Control guidelines are able to get a vaccine. For those 15 and younger right now, certain companies are in the early stages of vaccination trials. 

"If there is interest from a parent and a child to get enrolled, right now they're looking at age 12 and above. But Moderna is one vaccine organization that is looking to have younger children," said Dr. Mandie Svatek, a pediatric hospitalist at University Hospital within University Health. 

She recommends parents keep in mind the immune system of a child is different from that of an adult. 

"But I think the important thing is that it has gone through the proper channels and through the proper testing channels," Svatek said. "And now we're at the point of testing our population and testing our children." 

Any vaccine has to go through an FDA-approved process, just as the vaccines currently being provided to adults received emergency-use authorization from the agency. 

"Now, we know right now that this vaccine is safe and working well in the adult population." 

Any vaccine developed for children will largely be made starting with what we know about the adult vaccines. 

"At that point, we know that we probably have a good model for children to also receive the vaccine," Svatek said, who said the main criteria in any vaccine trial is determining the potential for side effects and analyzing how well the vaccine candidate works to prevent disease and hospitalization. 

Opportunities to enroll in clinical trials continue to open up. One for children should be starting in the near future. We'll let you know where you can enroll your child when the time comes. 

For more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories, just go to WearTheGown.com.