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Moderna launching vaccine trials on small children, available for parents in Louisiana

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Moderna, maker of one of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the U.S., plans to become the first in the country to test its shot on infants.

The company said its new trials will enroll nearly 7,000 children ages 6 months to 12 years in the U.S. and Canada.

"There will be two parts to the study," Dr. Jacqueline Miller, a pediatrician and Moderna's therapeutic area head for infectious diseases, told 'Good Morning America.' "The first part is where we will find the appropriate dose of the vaccine."

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines got emergency use authorization from the FDA in December, making them the first COVID vaccine to roll out in the U.S.. Both companies have already enrolled children 12 and older in clinical trials.

In Louisiana, the Metairie-based clinical research center MedPharmics will be starting one of these trials, according to The Advocate. 

Dr. Robert Jeanfreau, the owner of MedPharmics, said the trial could begin a few days from now, as soon as supplies are available. He said the trial would use as many children as possible, estimating a trial number of around 100.

Jeanfreau expects high demand for this study, judging from the previous parental interest in the ongoing Moderna study, which 70 local teenagers were signed up for.

In the first part of the study, the children will follow the same vaccination schedule as adults who get the vaccine, two shots 28 days apart. Only dose size will vary, with scientists monitoring results for effective dosages in each age range.

In the second part of the study, children will get either a placebo shot or the appropriate dosage for their age group. Participants will be monitored for 14 months, with antibody responses measured.

Parents interested in signing their children up can call the Metairie location at 504-304-7197.

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