COVID-19 and Childhood Cancer Vaccine Working Group

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The Vaccine Working Group is a collaboration between St. Jude and SIOP.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Young patient getting a shot in the arm

In less than one year since the announcement of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, hundreds of vaccines have been developed, several of them reaching approval and usage around the world, including U.S. FDA emergency use authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for those age 12 and older.

The similarity of these vaccines is to produce antibodies to protect against COVID-19 infection, but each of these vaccines have different designs, compositions, number of doses, time intervals between dose administration, and efficacy.

An avalanche of information has been generated surrounding these vaccines. And to make it more challenging, a horde of misinformation disseminated with similar speed. Therefore, it is natural that caregivers and health care providers face the difficult task to make the decision whether or not to vaccinate these at-risk children.

Name and Manufacturer Platform Age Indications Dosages Description Storage and Shelf-life Temperature Approval Efficacy
Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19
BNT162b2/COMIRNATY Tozinameran (INN) 1,2,3,4,5,A,B,C
mRNA ≥5 years 2 doses, 3 weeks apart Suspension for IM injection 2 to 8°C for 5 days
6 months at -80 to -60°C
EUA (FDA) 95%
*Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Booster6   ≥18 years Full dose at least 6 months after completion of primary series

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
mRNA-1273 2,3,7,8,9,A,C,D

mRNA ≥18 years 2 doses, 4 weeks apart Suspension for IM injection 2 to 8°C for 30 days
7 months at -25 to -15°C
EUA (FDA) 94%
*Moderna COVID-19 Booster6   ≥18 years Half dose at least 6 months after completion of primary series

Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson)
Ad26.COV2.S2,10,11

Recombinant, replication incompetent adenovirus type 26 (Ad26) vectored vaccine encoding the (SARS-CoV-2) Spike (S) protein. ≥18 years 1 dose Suspension for IM injection 3 months at at 2 to 8°C
24 months at -25 to -15°C
EUA (FDA) 67%
*Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Booster6   ≥18 years Full dose at least 2 months after completion of primary series

Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine
AZD122212

Recombinant ChAdOx1 adenoviral vector encoding the spike protein antigen of the SARS-CoV-2. ≥18 years 2 doses, interval of 8 to 12 weeks Suspension for IM injection 6 months at 2 to 8°C EUA (FDA) 70%
Covishield (Serum Institute of India) 
ChAdOx1_nCoV1913.14
Recombinant ChAdOx1 adenoviral vector encoding the spike protein antigen of the SARS-CoV-2. ≥18 years 2 doses, interval of 4 to 6 weeks Suspension for IM injection 6 months at 2 to 8°C EUA (FDA) 70%
*A single booster dose of Pfizer, Moderna (half dose) or Janssen may be administered as a heterologous booster dose following completion of primary vaccination with a different COVID-19 vaccine.6

Abbreviations: EOI = Expression of interest; EUA = Emergency Use Authorization; CMC = Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control; FDA = United States Food and Drug Administration; IM = Intramuscular.

Note : EOI. Expression of Interest (EOI). The first call for submission of EOI is open to candidate vaccines in phase IIb/III clinical trials that are expected to be submitted for evaluation by a National Regulatory Authority within the next 6 months. Priority will be given to candidate vaccines that are expected to meet all or most of the WHO published TPP characteristics (https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/who-target-product-profiles-for-covid-19-vaccines). EUA. Emergency Use Authorization. The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority allows FDA to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats including infectious diseases, by facilitating the availability and use of medical countermeasures (MCMs) needed during public health emergencies. CMC. Chemistry, manufacturing and control.
Clinical trials which include children are noted by letters.

A McNamara D. Children and COVID-19 Vaccine Trials: What to Consider. Medscape. 2021; Available from: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/949165
B Lovelace B. Pfizer begins Covid vaccine trial on infants and young kids. CNBC. 2021; Available from: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/25/covid-vaccine-pfizer-begins-trial-on-infants-and-young-kids.html
C Cross R. COVID-19 vaccine trials for kids ramp up. Chemical & Engineering News. 2021; Available from: https://cen.acs.org/pharmaceuticals/vaccines/COVID-19-vaccine-trials-kids/99/i10
D A Study to Evaluate Safety and Effectiveness of mRNA-1273 Vaccine in Healthy Children Between 6 Months of Age and Less Than 12 Years of Age; Available from: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04796896

1 Comirnaty, INN-COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (nucleoside modified). European Medicines Agency. 2021; Available from: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/assessment-report/comirnaty-epar-publicassessment-report_en.pdf
2 Allen I. Storage requirements for each COVID-19 Vaccine. Specialist Pharmacy Service. 2021; Available from: https://www.sps.nhs.uk/articles/storage-requirements-for-each-covid-19-vaccine/
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA News Release: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Adolescents in Another Important Action in Fight Against Pandemic. 2021. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-emergency-use
4 The Global COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts and What We Know So Far. Lab Cycle. 2021;(4):4–6. Available from: http://www.escoglobal.com/products/download/9010464-TheLabCycle-ISSUE-4-Jan-Mar2021-LR032521.pdf
Moderna mRNA-1273, COVID-19 vaccine. World Health Organization. 2021; Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/moderna-covid-19-vaccine-(mrna-1273)
6 Baden LR, El Sahly HM, Essink B, Kotloff K, Frey S, Novak R, et al. Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine. N Engl J Med. 2020 Dec 30;384(5):403–16. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2035389
7 Safety and Immunogenicity Study of 2019-nCoV Vaccine (mRNA-1273) for Prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (COVID-19). Clinicaltrials.gov. 2021; Available from: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04283461
8 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. 2021; Available from: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/janssen-covid-19-vaccine
9 World Health Organization. WHO recommendation Janssen–Cilag International NV (Belgium) COVID-19 Vaccine (Ad26.COV2-S [recombinant]). World Health Organization. 2021; Available from: https://extranet.who.int/pqweb/vaccines/who-recommendation-janssen-cilag-international-nv-belgium-covid-19-vaccine-ad26cov2-s
10 Villafana T. AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (AZD1222). CDC. 2021; Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2021-01/02-COVID-Villafana.pdf
11 ChAdOx1 nCoV- 19 Corona Virus Vaccine (Recombinant) COVISHIELD™. Serum Institute of India. 2021; Available from: https://www.seruminstitute.com/product_covishield.php
12 WHO recommendation Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd - COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S [recombinant]) - COVISHIELD™. 2021; Available from: https://extranet.who.int/pqweb/sites/default/files/documents/COVISHIELD_TAG_REPORT_EULvaccine.pdf
13 ChAdOx1 nCoV- 19 Corona Virus Vaccine (Recombinant) COVISHIELD™. Serum Institute of India. 2021; Available from: https://www.seruminstitute.com/product_covishield.php
14 WHO recommendation Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd - COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S [recombinant]) - COVISHIELD™. 2021; Available from: https://extranet.who.int/pqweb/sites/default/files/documents/COVISHIELD_TAG_REPORT_EULvaccine.pdf

Working Group Membership

The COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group on Pediatric Oncology convened in early March 2021 to answer vaccine questions. Members are a multidisciplinary group of oncologists, infectious disease physicians and nurses representing all major regions of the world and several countries.

  • Arpita Bhattacharyya, India, Pediatric Oncologist
  • Gita Naidu, South Africa, Pediatric Oncologist
  • Ivan Gutierrez, Colombia, Pediatric Infectious Disease
  • Jessica Bate, United Kingdom, Pediatric Oncologist
  • Jose Luis Copado, Mexico, Pediatric Infectious Disease
  • Lisa Morrissey, United States, Nursing
  • Nita Radhakrishnan, India, Pediatric Oncologist
  • Riyadi Adrizain, Indonesia, Pediatric Infectious Disease
  • Sarah Alexander, Canada, Pediatric Oncologist
  • Tarek Ahmed, Egypt, Pediatric Oncologist
  • Vivian Paintsil, Ghana, Pediatric Oncologist
  • Yan Yin Lim, Singapore, Nursing

The COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group on Pediatric Oncology is led by Dr. Miguela A. Caniza (Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, St. Jude), Dr. Jessica Bate (Pediatric Oncologist, University Hospital Southampton, United Kingdom) and Maysam R. Homsi (Project Coordinator, St. Jude). Consultants to the working group are Dr. Kenneth Alexander (Vaccinologist and Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando, Florida), Dr. Sheena Mukkada (Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, St. Jude) and Dr. Robert Phillips (Pediatric Oncologist, Senior Clinical Academic and NIHR Post-Doctoral Fellow Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Oncology, CRD, University of York, York, United Kingdom).

Parent/Carer Advisory Group Membership

The COVID-19 Vaccine Parent/Carer Advisory Group is made up of individuals who represent cancer patients and their families from around the world. Their questions and concerns about vaccines are addressed by the working group below.

  • Julia Gumy, United Kingdom, Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group
  • Brian Regan, United States, Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Pediatric Patient/Family Advisory Committee
  • Meghan Shea, United States, Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Pediatric Patient/Family Advisory Committee
  • Julie Chessell, Canada, AC20RN
  • Kim Buff, United States, Momcology
  • Carmen Auste, Philippines, Childhood Cancer International
  • Pinta Manullang-Panggabean, Indonesia, Yayasan Anyo Indonesia
  • Poonam Bagai, India, Can Kids India
  • John Ahenkorah, Ghana, Ghana Parents Group

Check Back Soon for Updates

In the coming weeks, this space will include information on all COVID-19 vaccines approved for use as well as those in various trial stages. In addition, we will include a wide range of frequently asked questions about the vaccines, links to webinars on the topic and much more.