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COVID-19 vaccine trials to change gears, focus on children

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 6:57 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 19:30:49-04

CLEVELAND — Johnson and Johnson have expanded its COVID-19 clinical trials to include adolescents 12 to 17 years old. It comes on the heels of pharmaceutical company Pfizer releasing its early research results which the company said showed it was 100% effective in children 12 to 15 years old.

As more adults are getting vaccinated the attention is turning to clinical trials involving teenagers. Erin Turner is the mother of three, including twin 13-year-old girls. When the vaccines receive FDA approval, she intends to have her children vaccinated.

“100% yes,” said Turner.

Turner, herself, is on her way to being fully vaccinated and is anxious for the results of the clinical trials involving teenagers.

“First, I am really sick of living the way we do. Second, I believe in the science behind it, if it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for my children, and third these kids have already lost out on so much, and with my daughters, in particular, going to high school next year, I just want them to have a normal high school experience,” said Turner.

But not all parents are convinced. University Hospitals Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist Amy Edwards said she gets questions from parents concerned about the potential long-term effects the vaccine could have on their children.

“You are talking about individual doses of something, there’s no mechanism for a vaccine to have a long-term effect once it's done its job, it’s gone. It’s no longer in your body, all you have left are the antibodies to the spike proteins. There is no vaccine left,” said Edwards.

COVID-19 has proven to be much worse in adults than in children. But some children do get seriously ill from the virus. Now, health officials are sounding the alarm about a spike in cases in children and young adults that experts said appears to be driven by more contagious variants.

“Michigan is having a pretty significant spike from the UK variant and if you look up the rate of rise of hospitalizations amongst kids and 20 and 30 somethings, it’s going up very quickly and that’s very concerning,” said Edwards.

Just like any other vaccinations, medical experts said, patients under 18 will need a parent or guardian’s approval to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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