NBC Nightly News: Inside COVID vaccine trials in young children
by Tom Costello
At Duke Med Center this week, follow up blood work for Marisol and Allahandra.
The 9-year-old twins were the first in the country to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Part of a nationwide trial testing vaccine safety and efficacy on children between 6-months and 12-years. 12-16 year-olds are in a separate trial.
While severe COVID-related illness and death are low in children, kids still account for 13.6% of all cases. 3.6 million so far. 88,000 cases last week alone.
Vaccinating kids, say experts, is critical to building herd immunity.
In Kansas City, Michael and Johanna Kelley enrolled 2 year-old Nora.
“Because we trust science. We had the opportunity to sign up for this and we talked it over and we believe that this is an opportunity to keep our child safe.”
Like similar trials involving the Moderna vaccine, doctors start low and then slowly increase the children’s vaccine dose.
“It’s basically the Goldilocks effect. Finding the right dose that produces robust immune response with the least amount of side effects,” said Dr. Barbara Pahud. Dr. Pahud is the Director for Infectious Diseases Research at Children’s Mercy. She is also the principal investigator on Children’s Mercy’s Pfizer pediatric vaccine trial.
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Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine at Children's Mercy