LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky has begun recruiting children between the ages of six months and 11 years old to participate in KidCOVE, a national trial for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

What You Need To Know

  • The University for Kentucky will conduct Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trails on children between six months and 11 years old

  • The school will enroll as many as 200 children

  • 100 sites in the U.S. and Canada are participating in the trials

  • There are currently no approved COVID-19 vaccines for young children

“We are privileged for UK to be selected as a site for this important trial,” said Dr. George J. Fuchs III, chief of pediatric gastroenterology and vice chair of clinical affairs in the Department of Pediatrics at UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

“With all other age groups currently eligible for vaccination, it’s vital that we extend this to young children, which is critical to their own protection and to facilitate herd immunity in order to help bring an end to this pandemic.”

The university is one of 100 sites in the U.S. and Canada participating in the trials of the company’s mRNA vaccine, which has already been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for use in adults. Last week, the company asked the Food and Drug Administration for an EUA to administer the vaccine to minors between the ages of 12 and 17

The trials on young children will use the same vaccine that’s currently being given to adults. However, the trials will determine the proper amount of the drug to give children, along with testing the vaccine’s effectiveness and monitoring any possible side effects. 

The trials will begin with the oldest cohort of young children, initially enrolling those between the ages of 6 and 11. It will then move to children between 2 and 6. Finally, children six months to less than two years old will be enrolled.

Parents interested in signing their children up can get prescreened at www.StopCOVIDKy.com. UK will enrolled up to 200 children in the trails, who will be followed closely for 14 months. Their parents will be compensated. 

There are not currently any vaccines approved for use in children younger than 12. Along with Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are currently testing their vaccines in young kids though. Pfizer, whose COVID-19 vaccine was the first approved for both adults and teens, has said it plans to apply for an EUA to use the drug in young children by September.

Crystal Sicard produced the video portion of this story.