WISN: UW Health to take part in pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial

WISN: UW Health to take part in pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial

University of Wisconsin Health will participate in a study of the effects of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in young children.

UW Health’s American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison will be one of about 100 sites involved in the study.

The project aims to enroll about 12,000 children under age 12. The Madison hospital hopes to sign up about 80 kids.

Three-fourths of participants will get two doses of the vaccine four weeks apart, and a fourth will get placebo shots. Children ages 6 to 12 will get the first shots, followed by children ages 2 to 6 and then those younger than 2.

Federal regulators have yet to approve any version of the vaccine for children younger than 12.

“The goal of the vaccine is to prevent COVID-19 from overwhelming the population again,” said Dr. William Hartman, who will co-lead the study at UW Health. “A big part of that is going to be vaccinating our children since schools and school buses are some of the biggest areas of congregation of children, with the potential for spreading COVID.”

COVID-19 cases have been soaring across the country, including in Wisconsin, as the highly contagious delta variant of of the coronavirus spreads.

As of Tuesday, Wisconsin’s seven-day case average stood at 1,121. That’s up from seven-day averages around 75 in early July. As of Wednesday, 52.9% of the state’s eligible population had received at least one dose of vaccine.