NUS begins recruiting children for Covid-19 vaccination study

Researchers intend to study 460 participants aged five to 16 over 12 months. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Duke-NUS Medical School are recruiting participants for an observational study on the immune response to Covid-19 vaccines in different groups of children.

This follows the Government's announcement on Friday night (Dec 10) that the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine has been approved for children aged five to 11. Vaccination for this group will begin by the end of this month.

Researchers intend to study 460 participants aged five to 16 over 12 months to track immune responses to the mRNA vaccine and vaccine efficacy, monitor side effects, and detect asymptomatic Covid-19 infections in these children.

Children who are healthy, have never been infected with Covid-19 and are getting vaccinated for the first time, as well as those who are not immediately vaccinated, will be recruited from the community.

Immunocompromised patients who are planning to be vaccinated will be recruited from the National University Hospital's Khoo Teck Puat - National University Children's Medical Institute.

The researchers aim to develop comprehensive recommendations on vaccinations in children and vaccinating immunocompromised children, and detail the effects of the natural infection of Covid-19 in them.

The study also hopes to determine if there is "hybrid vigour immunity" in children who may contract the virus and then get vaccinated when they recover - meaning that they are more resistant to reinfection.

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Tham, one of the lead principal investigators from NUS Medicine, said: "We hope to obtain crucial data on how vaccinating our children will help protect them against Covid-19, and to better understand the risks and benefits, which will help us provide better care for this vulnerable group."

Those interested in participating in the study can e-mail marvels@nuhs.edu.sg

 

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.