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When can children under the age of 16 get vaccinated?

A Doctor at UF Health says we should expect new data in about six months.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As the vaccine rollout continues, President Biden says the country will have enough vaccines for adults by May, but what about kids under the age of 16?

Danielle Bennett, a wife and mother of two, still wonders when a vaccine will be available to her 3-year-old daughter Emilia and 6-year-old son Owen.

“The thing about COVID is that no one knows exactly or can predict exactly how it’s going to affect you or what your reactions going to be and I think that’s the scariest the unknown," said Bennett.

On top of that, her son Owen has a heart murmur causing Bennett to worry more, which is one of the reasons why she wants her kids vaccinated.

I talked with professor and chief infectious disease specialist at UF Health Jacksonville, Dr. Mobeen Rathore about when a vaccine could be available.

“We should hopefully have data in children in about six months or a little bit sooner that can then be submitted to the FDA for approving the vaccine for children," said Dr. Rathore. 

Dr. Rathore says this process takes time and currently some vaccine manufacturers are already doing clinical trials for kids.

“It is a very common practice for decades that vaccines unless they are specifically for children they are first tested in adults," said Dr. Rathore.

Dr. Rathore says the vaccine for children could resemble the shots for adults.

“The ingredients are going to be similar but the doses that’s one of the things that’s being studied right now. Whether we need a different dose for different age groups," said Dr. Rathore. 

Dr. Rathore wants to remind parents in the meantime to make sure your kids are following all of the CDC guidelines.