February 22, 2023

Covid-19 is a highly contagious and quickly spread disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Since its discovery in 2019, researchers have remained dedicated to creating a vaccination for people of all ages. While many people with Covid-19 have mild symptoms, others can become highly ill as the disease attacks the lungs and respiratory systems.


In late 2022, the CDC expanded the use of vaccines for children ages six months to 5 years old. The CDC states, “The vast majority of children in this age group have not received any doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC is working to increase parent and provider confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and improve uptake among the 95% of children who are not vaccinated or have not completed the COVID-19 vaccine primary series.”1


A new study from the California National Primate Research Center, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Will Cornell Medicine, determined two-dose vaccines protect against lung disease in rhesus macaques one year after they were vaccinated as infants.


Researchers immunized two groups of eight infant rhesus macaques at the CNPRC at two months of age and again four weeks later.


Each animal received one of two vaccine types: a preclinical version of the Moderna mRNA vaccine or a vaccine combining a protein with a potent adjuvant formulation. One year later, the animals received a high-dose challenge with a SARS-CoV-2 variant to test their immune responses. Both proved successful in protecting against lung disease implying the vaccines are safe and highly effective when given to young infant macaques and may reduce the need for frequent boosters in young children.


Young infants are one of the most vulnerable populations regarding Covid-19. “This study emphasizes the need to get human infants immunized against SARS-CoV-2 as much as possible, as the benefits are clear and long-lasting. It also highlights the value of animal models in infectious disease research,” said Koen Van Rompay, co-author of the study. 

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