UF Health Jacksonville begins vaccine trials for children younger than 2

As part of the Moderna trial, Dr. Mobeen Rathore shared that UF Health Jacksonville will be immunizing the first group of children under the age of 2 with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – UF Health Jacksonville will begin giving children under the age of 2 years old Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, as part of the company’s clinical trials, according to Pediatric Epidemiologist Dr. Mobeen Rathore.

As of Wednesday morning, a total of four children were signed up.

In March, Moderna announced it began testing its shot in kids under 12 through the study called KidCOVE. It began vaccine trials on 6,750 kids – 6 months to 11 years old.

News4Jax spoke with Rathore in March. At that time he said the hospital was not participating in the study because it was not approved by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Institutional Review Board.

On Wednesday, Rathore said that changed. He shared this on social media saying, “We will be immunizing the first group of children less than 2 years of age with the coronavirus vaccine.” He said it’s part of the Moderna trial.

Right now, UF Health Jacksonville is already offering Pfizer’s vaccine to anyone 12 and up. It was approved for ages 12 to 16 in May.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says researchers are looking at the body’s ability to respond to the vaccine and to provide protection. Kids involved in the Moderna study will be followed for a year after receiving their second dose.

AAP has been pushing for pediatric vaccine trials as nearly 4 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Last week alone more than 16,000 new child cases were reported.

Pfizer said its trials are underway for kids 5 and younger.