FILE – Grade one students wear masks as they attend class at Honore Mercier elementary school Tuesday, March 9, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

FILE – Grade one students wear masks as they attend class at Honore Mercier elementary school Tuesday, March 9, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Why is there no COVID vaccine for kids yet? A B.C. researcher breaks it down

Clinical trials are ongoing both for youth and for pregnant women

Although there are now several COVID-19 vaccines authorized in Canada, and vaccination efforts are ramping up, there’s still one group that’s not eligible: children.

All COVID-19 vaccines in Canada are authorized for 16 and up or 18 and up, largely, according to the University of B.C.’s Anna Blakney, an assistant professor at the school’s Michael Smith Laboratories and School of Biomedical Engineering.

“When you’re first developing a vaccine, you don’t want to do it in more vulnerable populations,” Blakney said in a recent UBC Q&A. COVID-19 vaccine trials have included some vulnerable groups, however, such as seniors because the risk to older people from COVID-19 is so great.

Trials are currently ongoing for some vaccine for youth, including Moderna and Pfizer.

Another group that wasn’t included in the initial vaccine trials is pregnant women. Moderna and Pfizer are currently working on clinical trial of their vaccines for pregnant women but the results aren’t yet known.

“This is an important group because you don’t want to get COVID while you’re pregnant but you also don’t want a vaccine that has any negative side effects on your pregnancy,” Blakney said. “As the guidelines are always changing, it’s best to talk to your GP and decide whether you’re in a risk group where you should get the vaccine. The guidelines say it’s fine to get the vaccine while you’re breastfeeding and after you’ve had your baby.”

For women trying to get pregnant, Blakney said there’s “no reason” to think that any of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines would affect fertility.

READ MORE: Most B.C. adults could get their first COVID vaccine shot by July: health officials

READ MORE: Recent increase in COVID cases worries Canada’s health officials even as vaccines roll out


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

(Photo: Creative Outlet)
YOUR MONEY: Tax tips for a complicated tax season involving CERB and more

With April 30 tax deadline, ‘it is important to understand the tax implications (benefits) will have’

This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from April 4 to 10, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
Active COVID-19 case in Delta hit new high

262 cases for the week of April 4 to 10, most since BC CDC began releasing weekly city-level data

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read