By Pushkala Aripaka, Reuters
Drugmaker AstraZeneca has removed children from a mid-to-late stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, clinical trial registers in the United States showed on Monday.
The trial of more than 12,000 participants previously included children above the age of five with the consent of their parents. However, trial data under the U.S. National Library of Medicine was updated on Dec. 10 to remove the sub-group including children.
Other vaccine developers including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna are testing their hopefuls in children as young as 12 years to study how their vaccines work in a wider age group.
AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine along with the University of Oxford, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A wide age spectrum in trials can help developers understand how their vaccines work in the larger population, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in October that kids may not be recommended for COVID-19 vaccination initially.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine against the novel coronavirus produced a strong immune response in older adults, data published in November showed.
Once the frontrunner, AstraZeneca has now been overtaken by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech as well as Moderna in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.