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First children participate in UMC Utrecht-led study: Is one COVID-19 vaccination dose enough for kids?

First children participate in UMC Utrecht-led study: Is one COVID-19 vaccination dose enough for kids?

Protect children from 5 to 11 years old against COVID-19? UMC Utrecht is investigating whether one shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine protects as well as two shots in children who have had COVID-19 and want to be vaccinated. It is still possible to register for this study. Elsa, seven, is the first child to have recently participated in this CoVacc study.

Elsa, a fictitious name for privacy reasons, is a seven-year-old girl who herself wanted to participate in the study. So, her mother signed her up. “She wanted to participate, is fascinated by hospital series and is always eager to help other children. It's an already approved vaccine, so I didn't see any problems."

Why this research in children of this young age? Dr. Patricia Bruijning, paediatrician, epidemiologist and principal investigator of the CoVacc study: “When children are vaccinated against COVID-19, they receive two injections by standard. But if you've had COVID-19 before, you sometimes only get one shot. We want to investigate - for parents and children who want to be vaccinated - whether one shot works as well as two. But with possibly fewer side effects and less stress”.

The CoVacc study is looking for 200 children aged 5 to 11 years old in Europe, including the Netherlands, to investigate what is actually best: one or two injections.

Sign up children

Children of a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 11 years old can participate in the CoVacc study. Parents or guardians can register them. Participation is possible if the child has already had COVID-19 and has not yet received a vaccination against COVID-19, but would like to.

You can register for this study via www.vaccinatiestudie.nl/onderzoeken/covacc. By signing up, there are no obligations. The parent or guardian will be contacted for more information.

Approved corona vaccine

The study uses the paediatric vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, which has been approved by the EMA (European Medicine Agency). Bruijning: “The standard vaccination schedule for children from 5 years of age prescribes that two injections of 10 micrograms are given. In some countries, however, only 1 shot is given if children have had COVID-19 before and do not belong to a risk group. One injection gives half the stress to the child and the parents and is expected to cause fewer side effects, but does it also work just as well? In order to investigate this, half of the children receive one injection, and the other half two injections. In addition, we want to know how long one or two injections offers protection in young children and whether it offers protection against any new variants of SARS-CoV-2.”

CoVacc is part of the European VACCELERATE network for COVID-19 vaccination studies. VACCELERATE is the pan-European backbone for the acceleration of phase 2 & 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials. The overall objective is to connect all European stakeholders involved in vaccine development to provide a pan-European platform for clinical trial design and conduct. In the Volunteer Registry people can register if they are generally interested in participating in a clinical study. VACCELERATE has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under Grant Agreement No. 101037867.

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