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Riley doctor, Indy mom react to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine child trial results

“I’m very hopeful that as it becomes available, that a lot of kids will be able to get it before school stars"
Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 19:36:25-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As Hoosiers age 16 and older were able to register for a COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning, Pfizer and BioNTech released its findings from the vaccine trials in children ages 12 to 15-years-old.

The company says its COVID-19 vaccine has “demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses” in the age group.

More than 2,200 children across the United States were studied in the trial that found no cases of coronavirus in those vaccinated, whereas 18 participants who got the placebo did contract the virus.

Dr. James Wood, an infectious diseases expert with Riley Hospital for Children, says it is encouraging news.

“It’s the same vaccine that the adults got and it showed that kids tolerated it really well, which is really what we were hoping to see,” Wood said.

Right now, Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for use in Americans age 16 and older. Wood said he hopes the use of the vaccine in 12-15-year-olds happens within the next few weeks.

“They showed that it was 100% effective and they showed that it was very safe, it was tolerated very well,” Wood said.

“I’ve been kind of all over the place about the vaccine," Shannon Singer-Mann said on getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Wayne Township mother's two youngest children would become eligible if the Pfizer vaccine does receive Emergency Use Authorization, but she said there are many questions she wants answered before that happens.

“It’s a lot of things to take into consideration," Singer-Mann said.

WRTV shared Singer-Mann's story in December on what life was like living in strict quarantine. The family is staying in quarantine to protect 12-year-old Cayden Singer. He lives with a rare lung disease and brain tumor.

“We’re pretty much still in quarantine. It’s been just right over a year now," Singer-Mann said.

She said she is not against getting the vaccine and trusts her son’s doctors who encourage it, but also is torn with what she sees on social media and has many questions she wants answers to. For now, though, she is taking a wait-and-see approach as she said the family will continue their strict quarantine most likely through the summer.

“It’s been a big long thought process for us. We go back to the doctor on April 7th and I have a list of questions for him," Singer-Mann said.

Wood encourages any parent or guardian with questions about the vaccine to bring them to medical professionals.

“Really the message is when it’s available I really encourage folks to get it and if they have questions, talk to your doctor, talk to us at Riley because we’re happy to answer questions that I know it can be hard to get real and good information on," Wood said.

Pfizer’s CEO said in a press release the hope is the start vaccinating the 12-15-year-old age group before the start of the 2021-2022 school year. The company continues vaccine trials in children ages 6 months to 11 years.

“I’m very hopeful that as it becomes available, that a lot of kids will be able to get it before school starts,” Wood said.