MILWAUKEE — Research of the COVID-19 vaccine for children is underway.

During a virtual Mayo Clinic briefing Wednesday, doctors said they expect data on the vaccine in children by mid-summer and possible approval, as early as this fall. 

Dr. Robert Jacobson, in charge of employee and community health research initiatives with Mayo Clinic, said Pfizer began studies of children in September with children 12-15 years of age and completed recruitment this last month. 

They expect data to be presented to the FDA on this study of children 12-15 year of age, that might lead to having approval to use the vaccine in that age group by early fall. Similarly, Modern is studying approximately 3,000 children from 12-17 years of age, and they began recruitment in those studies in December.

Jacobson said clinic trails are a lot harder to do in children than they are in adults. 

"You have to recruit both the parent and the child. This is, as much as recruiting adults, you just need healthy volunteers, willing to say yes, for every child you want to recruit you also have to recruit the adult, because this is a study that does not offer direct benefit when the child can refuse participation,” he said. “That child can refuse at any point in time, and 12-year-olds often change their minds about whether or not they want to be in a trial."

There will be no difference between the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently being given to adults and those that will be given to children. So far, the FDA has only approved vaccines for those 16 years or older.