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Lisa Black

Nation’s pediatricians call on vaccine researchers to include children at earliest possible stage to reduce delays in giving children access to life-saving vaccines

ITASCA, IL – As trials of potential vaccines against COVID-19 show early signs of success, the American Academy of Pediatrics, representing 67,000 pediatricians, pediatric medical specialists and pediatric surgical specialists, calls on researchers to act quickly to ensure children are not left out of potentially life-saving vaccines.

“If we do not add children to these research trials very soon, there will be a significant delay in when children are able to access potentially life-saving vaccines. This is unconscionable,” said AAP President Sally Goza, MD, FAAP. “More than 1 million children have been infected with this virus since the beginning of the pandemic, and children have suffered in numerous other ways. This includes disruptions to their education, harms to their mental and emotional health, and greatly diminished access to critical medical services. It is unjust to allow them to take on these burdens, but not give them the opportunity to benefit from a vaccine.”

Dr. Goza outlined these concerns in a letter to federal health officials in October. Today, AAP and six other medical groups wrote to health officials asking for transparency, scientific rigor, and robust communications to improve public confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We eagerly anticipate seeing the safety and efficacy data in vaccine trials that are underway in adults, and urge pharmaceutical companies to rapidly expand their participant panels to include children and adolescents,” said Yvonne Maldonado, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.

“Children are not little adults. We must include children in the trials as soon as it is safe to do so.   Assuming that one or more of these vaccines are shown to be safe and effective in adults, in order for parents to be comfortable giving these vaccines to their children, we must have studies showing they are safe and effective in children as well. 

“This research takes time. If this does not begin soon, it will be less likely a vaccine will be available for children before the next school year,” Dr. Maldonado said. “We know that children can be infected with COVID-19 and can transmit it to others. To reduce the spread of this virus and control the pandemic as well as for their own safety, it’s crucial that children be included in the national vaccination program, and that vaccines are made available to children as soon as possible.”


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit

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