The company will be testing the vaccine in kids ages 12 to 18, followed by younger age groups. This type of vaccine has already been successfully studied in a wide range of age groups, both young and old, in the development of medications to treat Ebola and HIV, which is fueling optimism.
Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNN, "It gives us reasons to be optimistic regarding the safety profile in that patient population, but we still have to do the clinical work." He also noted, "The good news is, is that the FDA is already working with companies to establish the clear regulatory guidelines so that the appropriate data can be collected."
The company is also planning on a study of the vaccine with pregnant women in their second and third trimesters at the end of this month and also a study on the vaccine with immunocompromised individuals in the fall.
In addition to Johnson & Johnson, both Pfizer and Moderna are currently studying the vaccine in children as well.