Vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna have moved on to the next phase of their so called ‘fight against coronavirus’ by using children as young as 6 months old to test if their covid vaccines will be safe and effective for kids.
Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and population health at Stanford University, told ABC News that “Children under 18 make up 85 million people in the U.S., about 20% of the population” and, she added “Getting them vaccinated is a major contribution to reducing transmission of virus.”
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ABC news reports: Today, kids as young as 6 months old are taking part in trials for both companies’ vaccines with their parent’s consent. Dr. Zinaida Good, a research fellow at the Stanford cancer center, enrolled both her sons in Stanford Hospital’s Pfizer trial.
“We thought participating is a really good way to protect our kids,” she said. “So far, because this vaccine has been tested in a lot of teenagers and so many adults and it was shown [to be] very safe, we felt pretty comfortable to participate.”
Her son Soren is one of the youngest in Stanford Hospital’s Pfizer trial at only 7 months old. He received his first shot last week. Good says he’s doing well.
Soren’s older brother 3-year-old Andel also got the shot.
“He had a sore arm for like for a day and was a little bit low on energy for like a day,” his mom said of his reaction to the shot.
Good is an immunologist who has studied the virus at length. She says she and her husband are confident in the safety of the vaccine.
“It would be wonderful if we knew how to communicate better the benefits of the vaccine and its safety. The data is very clear,” she said. “Those who get vaccines like this, MRNA vaccines, at least they are protected and they don’t really have any real side effects, not any real long term consequences.”
Dr. Angelica Lacour’s 3-year-old daughter Eloise is also participating in the trial for young children. She says she feels strongly that this vaccine is not just about keeping her child safe, but other children as well.
“We were just so lucky that we have a healthy child and so grateful that she’s able to be part of this,” Lacour said. “But I think knowing that there are so many other parents out there whose children are vulnerable and may be struggling… her being able to be part of this and [helps] make that is a reality for other families. And as a mom, I can’t imagine what that fear must be like for them. We’re just so proud of her.”
Lacour said she was told about potential side effects.
“They said that it’s incredibly rare, but anyone can have an anaphylactic reaction to it. But it’s so rare they couldn’t even give us an example.” Lacour said. “So [side effects were] not something I was very concerned about. But it also brought us a lot of comfort that we were doing this across the street from the hospital.”
Both families say they understand the potential risks of taking part in the trial, but believe any risks are far outweighed by the potential protection the vaccine offers.
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