COVID vaccine trials underway for children, younger teens

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– As more people get vaccinated, many families are wondering when their youngest family members will get vaccinated. News 8 took that question to Pfizer, one of the lead vaccine developers in this pandemic for the answer.

One after another, more people are getting the long-awaited shot in the arm and while it’s the older population getting vaccinated now that’s been the most vulnerable in this pandemic, there have been serious cases in kids.

“We’ve had over 12,000 children hospitalized, now 225 children have died from COVID-19 and these were perfectly normal children, so it’s not benign to kids,” said Dr Robert Frenck.

It’s why they need a vaccine. Dr Robert Frenck is the lead investigator for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial at Cincinnati Children’s.

“Parents are seeing that and calling us, asking can we enroll our kids in clinical trials,” said Frenck.

News 8 tracked down mom, Carolyn Hawley, who got her teens into Pfizer’s adolescent trials underway now.

“I was cautious because I’m not a big fan of needles, but I wanted to be a part of it, and of course I wanted to get paid,” said Emma Hawley, a participant.

Emma and her brother, like most teenagers, are happy to get paid for the office visits and digital journals they can do right there on their phones, while mom’s proud of the impact they’re having.

“It’s an opportunity to be of service, which if I had had a chance to enroll in the clinical trial, I would’ve done it,” said Carolyn Hawley.

Emma believes she had the actual vaccine.

“I was tired, elevated temperature, my arm was sore,” said Emma.

Carolyn’s also happy to see them vaccinated.

“At that point, there was no indication as to when teenagers would be eligible for the vaccine,” said Carolyn.

Frenck says the general teenage population will likely have a vaccine before school starts in the fall. As for those younger than that? — “My guess is for under 12 it’s going to be the end of 2021, or early 2022,” said Frenck.

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