Kids may not be recommended for COVID-19 vaccination initially, U.S. CDC says

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Kids may not be recommended for COVID-19 vaccination initially, U.S. CDC says

FILE PHOTO: A syringe with a vaccine is seen ahead of trials by volunteers testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and taking part in the country’s human clinical trial for potential vaccines at the Wits RHI Shandukani Research Centre in Johannesbu

(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccines may not be initially recommended for children, when they become available.

Children, who rarely have severe COVID-19 symptoms, have not yet been tested for any experimental coronavirus vaccine. The CDC said so far early clinical trials have only included non-pregnant adults, noting the recommended groups could change in the future as clinical trials expand to recruit more people.

Pfizer Inc <PFE.N> has said it will enroll children, who are capable of passing on the virus to high-risk groups, as young as 12 in its large, late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial, while AstraZeneca <AZN.L> has said a sub-group of patients in a large trial will test children between five to 12.

There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but a handful of companies such as Pfizer and Moderna Inc <MRNA.O> are in final-stage trials of their experimental vaccines.

The CDC also said https://bit.ly/2STnLf3 on Wednesday that any coronavirus vaccine would, at least at first, be used under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization, and that there could be a limited supply of vaccines before the end of 2020.

In case of limited supply, some groups may be recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine first, the CDC said.

Coronavirus vaccines should be rolled out in four phases, with initial supply going to front-line health workers and first responders, an independent expert panel tapped by top U.S. health officials recommended earlier this month.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)