By Andrea Nakano

LARKSPUR (KPIX) – Pharmaceutical company Moderna has begun its next phase to test the vaccine on children as young as 6 months old. Roughly 6,700 kids from 6 months to 11 years are part of the clinical trial.

“We have to find out if the vaccines will work in the same way,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado with the Stanford School of Medicine. “Will they stop infection? Will they stop transmission and will they stop symptoms?”

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Dr. Maldonado from Stanford University adds with data showing the high level of efficacy and safety of the vaccine in adults, the outlook is promising for children.

“Children make up 25% of the us population, there are about 80 million people under 18,” she says. “So if we really want to reach for immunity we need to make sure kids are vaccinated as well.”

The first phase of Moderna’s clinical trial focused on formulating the correct dosage. Now for the next year, it will look at how vaccinated children compare to those given a placebo. Dr. Maldonado says safety is being tracked every step of the way and so far, the trials have gone incredibly well.

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Still, parents we spoke with say they want more data and time.

“Maybe there should be kind of little bit of time to see how it’s all working and really have any additional testing to see if there are any side effects,” says parent Lindsay Noelting.

Bree Martin adds, “We developed a vaccine in less than a year and so far it’s looking really good but when you’re talking about your children and you want to do everything you can for them. I just want a little more time.”

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For younger children, Dr. Maldonado says the vaccine could be available later this year, or early 2022.