Story at a glance

  • “We plan to go into children as soon as we possibly can, but very carefully in terms of safety,” Jerald Sadoff, senior advisor with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine division, said according to Reuters.
  • Sadoff said the company also has plans to test the vaccine in children younger than 12 if it’s shown to be safe among those 12 to 18.
  • The vaccine is one of four currently in late-stage clinical trials.

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has plans to begin testing its coronavirus vaccine on children, according to Reuters

Reuters reported on Friday the company soon plans to test the experimental vaccine candidate on people aged 12 to 18. 


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“We plan to go into children as soon as we possibly can, but very carefully in terms of safety,” Jerald Sadoff, senior advisor with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine division, said during a meeting held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday, according to Reuters. 

Sadoff said the company also has plans to test the vaccine in children younger than 12 if it’s shown to be safe among those 12 to 18. 

Most COVID-19 vaccine trials are focused on whether the shots are safe and effective in adults. Pfizer, which has manufactured one of the four vaccine candidates currently in phase three trials in the U.S., recently started testing its vaccine candidate in children. 

While far fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, they can still become infected with the virus and spread it around to others. 

Johnson & Johnson kicked off phase three trials of its vaccine last month, aiming to enroll 60,000 participants. The company had to pause the trial earlier this month after a participant suffered a stroke. An independent committee investigated the incident and determined the incident was not related to the vaccine and the trial resumed this week. 

It’s not unusual for some participants to become ill during large scale vaccine trials and most resume shortly after they’re put on pause so cases can be evaluated for safety.


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Published on Oct 30, 2020