UW Health begins testing COVID-19 vaccine on children 6 months to 4-years-old

The trial will last 18 months.
Posted at 10:28 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 23:28:49-05

MILWAUKEE — A new wave of kids 5 to 11 years old are rolling up their sleeves for covid shots in Milwaukee.

"I am very, very pleased that already were seeing a very solid positive response from parents," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

"Every day that we have more people vaccinated, our community is safer," said Dr. Smriti Khare of Children's Wisconsin

City officials say since they began offering the vaccine last week, nearly 400 children in that age group have gotten their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Including the son of Milwaukee County's top doctor.

"My kiddo was fine the next day, no side effects, same the following day, and the one after that," said Dr. Ben Weston the Medical Director for Milwaukee County's Office of Emergency Management.

Meanwhile, researchers at UW Health in Madison are focusing on what's next: protecting the youngest age group. They're conducting a clinical trial on Moderna's vaccine for children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years old.

"We started about a week and a half ago bringing the families in, evaluating the children and then giving them the first injection," said Dr. William Hartman, the principal investigator of UW's Moderna Pediatric Covid-19 Vaccine Trial.

Dr. Hartman says over the course of the 18-month trial, they will monitor if children have had any bad reactions, side effects, or developed COVID-19. So far, very minor side effects have been reported. Including sore arms, legs, a slight fever, and redness.

"The virus, especially in this time of Delta, is looking for people who are unvaccinated. This group represents a huge target for that Delta variant. This really defines how this vaccine will be used in this age group throughout really the world," said Dr. Hartman.

UW Health is one of about 80 centers across the country participating in the trial, and 3,000 children have been chosen to be a part of it.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Latest news and headlines here.