By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Pfizer and Moderna have enrolled children 12 years and up in their pediatric trials for the COVID-19 vaccine. The companies have said they hope to have results by summer.

“What the companies will be presenting this summer to the FDA is proof that the vaccines are safe in children,” Mayo Clinic pediatrician and vaccine researcher Dr. Robert Jacobson said. “And that they produce same level of antibodies or better that they did in the adults in adult trials.”

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Jacobson says so far the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trials have not raised any red flags. He said some of the most common vaccines already administered in children are the same ingredients used for those in adults.

“The manufacturers of the flu vaccine are licensed to give same dose to 6-month-old that it would give to a 90-year-old,” Jacobson said.

Children do tend to have milder symptoms and less severe outcomes than older populations from COVID-19, but they can still spread it. The disease has also been connected to a rare, more serious pediatric condition

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“We didn’t want our kids to get [COVID-19] but we didn’t worry so much about it,” Megan Hoffman, from Glencoe, said.

Hoffman’s son, Jaxson, is one of more than 2000 cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome that have been confirmed in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic. Jaxson was hospitalized for nine days. Hoffman says if the vaccine is proven to also be safe in kids, her family would be in line.

“If it can lessen those symptoms especially after seeing what my son went through … absolutely,” she said.

Jacobson says he believes as soon as the companies get approval for children 12 and up, those under 12, including toddlers and babies would likely be next for trials.

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Pfizer’s vaccine is currently intended for people age 16 and up. Moderna is approved for 18 and up.

Kate Raddatz