UW Health tapped for COVID-19 vaccine trial for younger children

Ages will range from 6 months to 12 years old.
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 8:37 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2021 at 7:12 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Select children will soon start receiving COVID-19 vaccines in Madison as testing of Moderna’s version begins on younger age groups. On Thursday, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health revealed it was one of the hospitals tapped to conduct the pharmaceutical giant’s pediatric clinical trials.

Children as young as six-months-old will participate in the tests, dubbed the KidCOVE study, which will include all ages up to 11-years-old, UW Health explained in a statement. Its co-principal investigator Dr. William Hartman indicated the version of the vaccine being delivered is the same one given to adults currently and that Moderna wants to determine the proper dosage for children.

“Getting children vaccinated will help protect everyone and get us closer to mitigating this pandemic,” he said.

The number of children allowed to participate in the study, which will be conducted at American Family Children’s Hospital, will be “very limited” and based solely on the age and medical eligibility guidelines laid out by Moderna. Participants will be grouped into three categories:

  • 6 months to less than 2 years old
  • 2 years old to less than 6 years old
  • 6 years old to less than 12 years old

Moderna expects to enroll 4,000 children for each age group across 75 to 100 testing locations in the U.S. and Canada.

All eligible children will undergo a medical examination and a review of their medical records to make sure they are in good health, UW Health stated. If a child has a chronic disease, its symptoms would need to be under control at the time for them to be allowed into the study.

Anyone interested in enrolling their child is asked to go to or to call 608-262-8300. Enrollment will start on Friday, August 13.

Dr. Hartman will sit down with NBC15 News later Thursday to discuss the program. This story will be updated following his interview.


The Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services’ demographic breakdown on its COVID-19 vaccine tracker website does not correspond exactly with the age groups for the study. However, it does show that, as of Wednesday, over 40,000 children in Wisconsin ages 13 and under have contracted the virus.

UW Health noted that, although coronavirus survival rates are higher in children, COVID-19 can still harm them and they can also spread the disease to other, more vulnerable populations.

UW Health had previously participated in the AstraZeneca trials of its COVID-19 tests in adults. At the time it was one of 100 clinical sites in the country. That version of the vaccine has never been approved for use in the United States.

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