Around the country, the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is expanding from healthcare workers and people who live in long-term care facilities to older adults, essential workers and people with chronic medical conditions, depending on location.
Two vaccines have been authorized so far—one created by Moderna is authorized for people ages 18 and older, and one by Pfizer that is authorized for people 16 and older. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined a third vaccine, created by Johnson & Johnson, is safe and effective at preventing severe Covid-19 in people 18 and older, and they will meet to review the vaccine for authorization on Friday.
But why is there an age limit for who can receive a vaccine right now, and when will a vaccine become available for kids and teenagers?
Vaccinating young people will be necessary to approach herd immunity and significantly slow the spread of Covid-19 in the United States, Sarah Zhang reports for the Atlantic. The FDA has specific regulations and protections in place for testing new medications in children, in order to reduce risk. That means that vaccine trials have to be conducted separately for adults and children.