BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Seventy-five Baltimore-area children participated in a clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine to make sure the Covid-19 vaccines are safe for other children.
Vaccinating children is necessary to reach herd immunity, according to doctors and public health experts.

UMMC is testing the Moderna vaccine on children ages 6 months to 11 years.

Dr. James Campbell, professor of pediatrics said about 300 children have died from Covid-19, which is more than all other infection-related deaths in children.

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“I think that sometimes people lose sight when we’re focusing on the effect on adults is just how much it affects kids,” he said.

Christian Mugera, 9, was one of the first children vaccinated as part of the local trial.

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“The vaccine is what is changing the game and that is making a difference right before our eyes,” said Dr. Charles Mugera, Christian’s father. “For me, I was completely convinced that this was the way to go.”

Doctors say vaccinating kids is key in ultimately slowing down the case rate and the variant strains.

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“In order for us to really push this pandemic down and to reach true herd immunity, we’re going to need to have the whole population vaccinated, or the whole accepting population vaccinated,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he expects that the vaccine will be available to teenagers at some point this summer or early fall. Younger children should be able to be vaccinated by early 2022.

Rachel Menitoff