COVID-19 vaccinations lag among eligible kids as clinical trials to expand

Concerns over rare inflammation of the heart lead FDA to request expanded trials among children

With a few weeks until the start of in-person schooling in New Jersey, health experts say that vaccinations are critical for young people, who are on average 9% behind on their regularly scheduled shots. Of eligible children ages 12 and up, 44% have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

This week, the FDA recommended the expansion of clinical trials for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children between ages 5 and 11 over concerns that the shot may cause myocarditis, inflammation of the heart. But researchers at Rutgers University say those cases are extremely rare and appear much more frequently in children who get sick with COVID-19. Experts also say that “long-hauler symptoms” caused by the long-term effects of COVID-19 are showing up more in kids who are infected by the delta variant of the coronavirus.

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