Dr. Robert Frenk, who is leading the trial of the Pfizer vaccine for “Covid-19” in the hospital, said that a team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital vaccinated 100 children as young as 12 years old last week. Frink told CNN: “We have now paused to watch reactions to the vaccine. We are now in a planned hiatus to make sure everything is as safe as possible.”
Among the side effects that doctors monitor are lumps, redness, or pain at the injection site, in addition to fever or aches.
Abhinav, who is 12 years old, is one of the young volunteers. The seventh grader, whose parents have requested that his first name be used only to protect his privacy, hopes that widespread vaccination will help make it safe for his grandparents to resume visits from India, and for classes to return to normal at school.
“I think everyone in my school wants to go back to normal,” Abhinav told CNN. He added, “I really think the vaccine can prevent the spread of infection. And yet, I might ask other kids to take it.”
Abhinav knows that the chance of actually receiving the vaccine is no more than 50%. Half of the volunteers in this third and final phase of the Pfizer vaccine are getting a dummy dose. But he hopes that he will get the real vaccine because he believes that the vaccine will protect him from infection, which in turn will prevent him from transmitting the virus to others.
Abhinav’s father, Sharat, was thinking more about his child’s safety. When asked why his son was registering for the vaccine trial, he said: “I am mainly thinking about protecting my son. It would also help the science. We felt it was something that needed to be done.”
Sharat, a doctor at the hospital, volunteered to take a first-stage test for the vaccine earlier this year and felt confident that not only would it be safe for his son, but it would also prevent the virus from transmitting the infection to him.
He said, “I am aware of the side effects that affect the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
The trial of “AstraZeneca” was stopped for nearly two months in the United States after the appearance of neurological symptoms on a British volunteer. And the US experiment resumed again last week.
Frenk added that people may feel nervous about giving children an experimental vaccine, but they have noted that the Pfizer vaccine has already been tested on tens of thousands of adults.
He continued: “The reason we use this vaccine for children is that Pfizer has 30,000 adults, who have been registered and has safe data from all these people.”
In addition, he said it would be important to vaccinate children against the Coronavirus if there was any hope of controlling the epidemic. And they almost certainly contribute to the silent spread of the virus.
“I think the important thing that people should remember is that while teens do not get sick like old people, that does not mean that some children do not get sick and some children do not die,” he added.
He pointed out that 20 children in the United States have died from “Covid-19” so far.
The Pfizer vaccine does not use any active virus. It uses a small piece of genetic material called mRNA – a method originally used to fight cancer. “This is the first time it has been used for an infectious disease,” said Frink.
The vaccine stimulates the body to create antibodies against the spike protein, which is the structure the virus uses to bind to the cells it attacks.
So far, the side effects have been mild. “Some people get some pain,” added Frink. It is possible that the body will build up its immune response, similar to the pain caused by an actual infection. Frenk said that the 400 adults who received the vaccine in the Cincinnati trials, none of them had to be absent from work due to side effects.
Likewise, adolescents who volunteered had mild responses to the vaccination. “One of the children had a low-grade fever, took a dose of ibuprofen and felt fine,” said Frink.
The Americans are concerned about terms such as licensing for use in emergencies, and fear that vaccine rollout will accelerate too quickly.