(WFSB) – The FDA is expected to authorize the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children ages 12 to 15 years old, but there’s another trial underway involving children as young as 6 months old.
At the current stage of the vaccine rollout, people seem to have their minds made up about whether or not to get the vaccine.
Channel 3 spoke to parents who enrolled their 3-year-old daughter in the trial and a researcher who is conducting the trial.
Eloise Lacour, 3, is a COVID-fighting trailblazer because she’s one of the 144 children enrolled in one phase of Pfizer's trial.
“As much as we have a very healthy child and would anticipate if she were to become sick with COVID that she would be fine, we don’t know that. Having access to the vaccine just provides another layer of comfort,” said Angelica Lacour, Eloise's mother.
Before signing up, Eloise’s parents, Angelica and Chris, said they had serious discussions together as a family.
“In addition to talking to one another as parents, it was also really important to us that Eloise was part of the decision making process and understanding what the appointment was going to be like, with the blood draw, the shots, and the nasal swabs. Making sure she was comfortable,” Angelica Lacour said.
“Going through and seeing the level of care that they were providing and the type of monitoring they’d be offering during the entire trial was very reassuring,” Chris Lacour said.
The 3-year-old got her first dose two weeks ago and so far, she has been doing well.
“She didn’t even have a sore arm. She’s been a trooper through this whole thing,” Chris Lacour said.
Doctors running the trial said they are checking in frequently and families have 24-hour access to the team.
“The first seven days after the vaccine, we do daily monitoring, checking her temperature, doing a diary on our phones for the research trial,” Angelica Lacour said.
Stanford Hospital, along with doctors in four other locations, are studying to see if the vaccine will be safe and effective for children. This is important because vaccine enthusiasm is starting to dwindle.
Forty-five percent of Americans have at least one dose and doctors said children may be the ones to get the country across the critical herd immunity threshold.
“Children make up 20 percent of the population and it’ll be important to have them vaccinated as well,” said Jenn Bollyky, Stanford University study investigator.
Bollyky said the trial is being done in three phases, in three different age groups that range from 6 months to 12 years old.
Eloise is part of the first phase, where doctors are finding the right dose for children. Phases two and three will test the efficacy and the way the trials are done are very similar to the others that have come before it.
“Pfizer and the FDA will watch participants through two months of time to do the study looking for any adverse events,” Bollyky said.
The Lacour family will keep the diary and hope Eloise remains symptom-free.
“We’re just so fortunate to be able to be part of this trial and have this opportunity, and like Chris said, Eloise has been such a trooper in this process and we’re looking forward to her getting her second dose tomorrow,” Angelica Lacour said.
Trial participants will keep a log for 26 months and Pfizer is expecting 4,600 children internationally will participate in the trial’s three phases.
While children between the ages of 12 and 15 are expected to be eligible this week, it may not be until the fall for the younger children.