BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Pfizer announced this week its vaccine is safe and 100% effective in children ages 12 to 15.

There are now at least two studies in the U.S. to determine how the vaccines will affect children.

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Dr. James Campbell, a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, helped write the safety guidelines for the Moderna pediatric trials.

Dr. Campbell has long been an advocate for vaccinating children.

“Almost a quarter of our population are children, it’s 24% of the United States,” Dr. Campbell said. “So if we leave all children unvaccinated, we have this big chunk of the population where the virus can continue to circulate.”


While Dr. Campbell is not associated with the Pfizer study, he said the preliminary data released by the drug maker is exciting news, but it’s also important to review the details of the study in its entirety.

“It’s really significant. It will be really the first time that we are getting information on children. I mean, we did have the 16 and 17-year-olds, but now we are getting down even to middle school-age children and showing that the vaccine has high efficacy,” he said.

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This new research comes as COVID-19 cases are making a comeback nationally. Here in Maryland, health officials have said young people are driving the surge.

Across the country, doctors have been signing their children up for trials.

Dr. Richard Chung is a pediatrician at Duke University Health System. His 13-year-old son, Caleb, participated in a trial.

“Definitely a very special opportunity to be able to do something like this because usually I’m just at home doing online school and there’s not much I could do to fight back against the virus,” Caleb said.

Dr. Chung said vaccinating children is critical to keeping kids safe.

“We need kids to do these trials so that kids can get protected. Adults can’t do that for them,” Dr. Chung said.

If the vaccine makers receive Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, older kids could be vaccinated this fall and the younger children early next year.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Ava-joye Burnett