Female doctor giving covid-19 vaccine to a boy
With the COVID-19 still raging as schools have reopened, it is imperative that school-aged children receive a vaccine as soon as possible. ABC News reports that over 1 million pediatric COVID-19 cases have been reported since July – a staggering 240% jump since June 2021. So when Pfizer announced earlier this month that they have developed a vaccine that works in children ages 5-11, many parents breathed a sigh of relief.
Development of this vaccine included test trials that began in March at Duke University under the oversight of Dr. Emmanuel Walter, who enrolled 2,000 children into the study. “It was exciting to wake up this morning to see the preliminary top line results showing that the vaccine is both safe and induces an immune response,” he said in statement to WCNC.
One North Carolina mom and public health scientist, Anna Aceituno, enrolled her two boys in the trial. “I actually have two children in the trial, two boys, 4 and 7,” Aceituno told the publication. “I was interested in getting them involved as soon as I knew there would be a safe clinical trial for children.”
She didn’t force her boys to take the vaccine, however. “I basically talked to them about it and said you know, no kid can get this vaccine until some kids step up and agree to be first, you know, be brave for all the other kids that are out there waiting, and they were like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it,’” Aceituno explained.
However, due to the nature of clinical trials, Aceituno is unsure if her boys received the vaccine or the placebo. “I believe it’s like a two-thirds chance they got the real shot and a one-third chance they got the placebo so we won’t know until the trial is over,” Aceituno said, adding that neither of her boys experienced any side effects. “I wish they had symptoms, a little bit,” she explained. “Neither of them had any reaction or symptom so I don’t know if they had the actual or placebo shot but both of them did very very well.”
Do Children Experience Side Effects After Taking The Vaccine?
Dr. Walker added that even the children who participated in the trial are given a “10 microgram dose,” which is a third of what adults receive, side effects should be expected. “I think we know that you can have some of the same symptoms adults report you can get fever, you can get muscle aches chills headaches,” he said. “It’s kind of a balancing act, which is why it’s taken since March to really see results.”
The decision to enroll her children was a simple one for Aceituno. “I just want to do everything I can to get my kids to have the lowest chance possible for getting this disease, it’s like one less thing to worry about in these stressful last few years,” she said.
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