Sep 13, 2021 - Health

Parents search for COVID vaccine trials for their children

A health care worker testing a child for coronavirus in Austin, Texas, in August.

A health care worker testing a child for coronavirus in Austin, Texas, in August 2021. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some parents around the U.S. are on the hunt for COVID-19 vaccine trials instead of waiting for FDA approval to get their young children inoculated, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: As kids return for in-person schooling before those under 12 became eligible for shots, it's created anxiety for parents who worry about the small — but very real — possibility that their kid could become severely ill, experience long-term consequences from or die from COVID.

What they're saying: "This is probably the most dangerous time in the pandemic for children," Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told Axios.

  • The Delta variant is highly transmissible and individuals are letting their guard down.
  • "We're at a very high level of infection overall and the larger proportion of the susceptible population now is children," Wen said.

Driving the news: Kids made up more than a quarter (26.9%) of new weekly COVID-19 cases nationwide, according to the latest data available from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Some parents are pushing their pediatricians to OK off-label adult shots for their kids, and demand driven by parental concern has made slots in children's vaccine trials scarce, per NYT.

Between the lines: The FDA said on Friday that it is "working around the clock" to support the process of making the coronavirus vaccine available for children under the age of 12.

Go deeper: Coronavirus cases up among children after start of school year

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