Thousands of Kansas City metro parents enroll their children in COVID-19 vaccine trial


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands of metro parents have enrolled their children in a trial to test COVID-19 vaccines on those aged 16 and younger.

Pfizer is the only one of the vaccines to currently have Emergency Use Approval from the FDA for use on 16 and 17 year-old patients. Pfizer is also the first one of the COVID-19 vaccines to finish enrollment for pediatric trials involving patients aged 12 to 18.

Future pediatric trials are planned for the other vaccines with EUA.

Children’s Mercy Hospital said it will be involved in at least one trial to determine if the vaccines are safe and effective to be given to children.

“We’re not allowed to discuss the specifics of them, but we do have a registry that people can sign up if they want their children to be involved,” Dr. Barbara Pahud, Research Director of Pediatrics Infectious Diseases at Children’s Mercy, said during a Facebook Live with the University of Kansas Health System.

Even without releasing a lot of information publicly about the upcoming trial, Dr. Pahud said more than 5,000 children in the Kansas City area have registered to take part in the trial.

“Which is great news, but at the same time, unfortunately we’re not gonna be able to enroll, as you can imagine, everyone in these trials,” Pahud said.

Children’s Mercy Hospital worked with the University of Kansas Health System to enroll more than 500 adults in the AstraZeneca trial last year. They expect the number of volunteers needed in the pediatric version to be lower.

Children’s Mercy is also helping organize a trial in the Wichita area to test the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in both adults and children.

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