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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Why the COVID-19 vaccines have various age limits

Pfizer has an age limit of 16, Johnson and Johnson and Moderna have an age limit of 18.

ODESSA, Texas — More than anything, every parent wants to protect their children.

And regardless of whether or not you want your child to get the COVID-19 vaccine, it's good to know why it isn't available just yet.

The simple answer? There's not enough data.

"Regulatory bodies have to look at the data that's coming out of these trials and then decide on safety," said ORMC chief medical officer Rohith Saravanan.

As for kids, it's a whole different story.

"For children, the power and the sensitivity has to be even higher," Saravanan said.

This means even larger sample sizes, more diversity of population and these studies are under higher scrutiny.

But there's also a scientific method of vaccine studies across the board.

"You chose the group that's least likely to have adverse effects, so obviously adults are the first choice, then you go a little bit younger pediatrics, like adolescents, usually ages 12 and up, then you start going to 6 and up or 8 and up and then you go for even younger kids than that," Saravanan said.

So now that adults have had their shots, kids are next to roll up their sleeves.

Dr. Saravanan of ORMC said Moderna started studies for kids, age 12 and up in December of last year.

Pfizer started studying the effect on this age group in November.

So local health officials say they expect these results sometime in the next few months.

Saravanan said children might need a slightly different dose than adults, but it will be the same vaccine.

All so we can continue to protect our children.