U of Iowa vaccine expert weighs in on COVID vaccines & kids

Photo: University of Iowa Health Care

(Iowa City, IA) -- Dr. Patricia Winokur, Dean of the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa heads up UIA's vaccine trial program, and is predicting that someday doctors will likely recommend an annual vaccine for coronavirus, much like the flu shot. Dr. Winokur says uses influenza as an example, saying the immune system relaxes over time and antibodies weaken, requiring an annual vaccine to prepare the body for possible exposure to infection. She says like the flu shot, a COVID-19 vaccine can prevent patients from serious complications.

She also says it's likely the COVID-19 vaccine will some day be recommended for children as young as six months. Dr. Winokur says there's mounting evidence of children getting the virus and becoming very ill and/or transmitting it to others, so a vaccine could help reduce community infection.

The University of Iowa has taken part in several trials for coronavirus vaccines. The latest is a collaboration with the Sanofi pharmaceutical company. Eligible participants must be 50-years-old, and have never had coronavirus or a vaccine.

“We couldn’t be prouder of the role that Iowans have played, and continue to play, in developing safe and effective vaccines that stop the spread of COVID-19,” says Winokur. “With much of the world still unvaccinated, there is still a critical need for more vaccine options, making Iowans’ continued participation in these trials even more important.”

Those interested in participating in the trial are asked to call 319-356-4848.

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