Concerned various coronavirus vaccines under development will adequately protect the elderly, researchers are concentrating their efforts on ensuring that shots will help the vulnerable group, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
"It would not be particularly encouraging if we have a vaccine that's capable of protecting 20-year-olds who probably have a pretty low risk anyway of getting sick, and doesn't work at all for people over 65," National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins said.
Americans over the age of 65 have almost double the rate of hospitalization for coronavirus than those aged 50-64 and five times the rate for 18- to 49-year-olds, according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which covers the time period between March and mid-June.
Collins said some of the experimental vaccines "may turn out to be better for older individuals, and that'll be a big issue in terms of how we then end up deploying these."
As part of the efforts to ensure the elderly are helped the most by any vaccine, a Food and Drug Administration spokesman said the agency is working with companies to make it easier for experimental vaccines to be tested in older adults earlier during clinical trials, and alongside younger subjects.
In addition, researchers are exploring options such as increasing the doses or adding a booster to the shot in order to be more effective for those over age 65.
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