As the race towards developing and testing an antiviral vaccine for COVID-19 continues with great intensity, children are believed to become the last recipient of the much-coveted cure, according to experts. Meanwhile, there are several vaccine candidates being developed around the world, unfortunately, none of them have emerged as the proven cure yet.
Speaking with ABC News, White House health advisor and United States' renowned physician Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that a viable vaccine is possibly on its way. As per the expert, it might be out by early 2021 given the number of vaccines that have already begun human trials.
As the trials on adults for novel coronavirus infection has begun, it is believed that studies in children might have to "catch up."
"There is no reason not to believe that [a vaccine] wouldn't be available simultaneously for adults and children," Fauci said.
Meanwhile, other experts reportedly have admitted that studies among children about COVID-19 may "take much longer to complete." Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who is a part of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine advisory committee believes that children are not part of the preliminary trials yet.
"Children will be vaccinated, in time," said Offit. "To date, my sense is that children are not part of these initial studies. It would be unfathomable giving children a vaccine that has not been adequately tested in children," he added.
More experts are reiterating the thought on clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine for children.
Paul Duprex, PhD, Director of the Center for Vaccine Research and professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of Pittsburgh believes that it may take "extra months and maybe years longer."
Duprex believes that since kids are "special" and it involves a lot of "emotional baggage," therefore it is expected to take longer to develop vaccines for kids.
For now, as per the report, the vaccine trials are focusing on largely those sections of society that are at "highest risk" including key workers and adults. Nevertheless, some groups have also been vocal about their intent to test vaccines on children.
The University of Oxford in partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is one of the groups that have announced their plans for vaccine trials on children. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in collaboration with other pharmaceutical companies is among other organisations interested in trials for children.