VIRGINIA, USA — "I encourage my children always to go out and seek things that will advance us and advance our community," said Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (CHKD) Pediatrician Dr. Theresa Broderick. She has a 13 and 14-year-old enrolled in a Pfizer vaccine trial.
They started the process in January.
"They were very excited to be part of science moving forward," she said.
One got the vaccine, the other received a placebo. But both are now vaccinated. They'll be monitored in the study until 2023.
"To protect themselves, protect their parents, grandparents, teachers, anyone else in the community," said Dr. Broderick.
Dr. Broderick told 13News now that she's been really impressed with the process, "as far as checking on the children, calling, texting.”
Dr. Broderick also has a 1-year-old and 10-year-old ready to participate, "but we are on the waitlist because their initial spots were full."
They signed up through the Virginia Research Center in the Richmond area.
Dr. Raymond Decker told 13News Now families are traveling from areas like Hampton Roads and states like New Jersey and North Carolina.
He estimates 90% of the pediatric vaccine trial participants are babies or children of doctors or medical professionals.
"That's the biggest endorsement of whether or not we should get this vaccine," he said.
Dr. Decker wants to assure people that they take this research seriously.
"If we're putting this in terms of a baseball game, we've been pitching no-hitters since August 10 of last year. This is a good, clean study," he said.
As studies for the younger age groups continue, Dr. Decker urges vaccination for those who are eligible. That's right now, ages 12 and older.
And in a virtual town hall Thursday night, two of CHKD's top medical experts answered questions to try and separate COVID fact from fiction.
"Typically, it takes years to get the appropriate funding and to get the appropriate approvals through. That part was expedited," said CHKD Medical Director Dr. Doug Mitchell. "But the trials, the science, there were no shortcuts taken."
The doctors explained the vaccine's critical role in alleviating overrun hospital systems.
Lately, sick patients are getting younger and younger.
The experts also mentioned that while breakthrough cases are possible, the vaccines are still highly effective.
"We're protecting you from getting hospitalized and from dying. The same thing should hold true for your children," said CHKD Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Laura Sass. "I want to reassure people that I have vaccinated my own children and I would not tell you to vaccinate your own children if I didn't think it was safe."
If you missed the webinar, CHKD said the recording will be posted on their website.