SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WJW)- As vaccines roll out for many adults, questions about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine and children remain.
It’s a data gap Senders Pediatrics in South Euclid plans to help provide answers about beginning in June when the office will participate in a Pfizer vaccine trial for children ages 5 to 11 years old.
“Currently we’re just concluding the 11 to 15 years old study,” said Dr. Shelly Senders. “We hope data will be available over the next month. And then we will begin on the 5 to 11-year-olds and then immediately after that study we understand there will be the six months to 5 year age range.”
The practice previously participated in vaccine studies of teenagers enrolling more than 170 of the 2,000 participants nationwide in the study of children ages 11 to 15-years-old.
“That’s crazy that a little practice in Cleveland, Ohio has been able to contribute to that process,” Senders said.
During prior studies of other age groups, Senders said the clinical trial was unblinded at four months, those in the placebo group ultimately got the actual vaccine.
Senders said the practice will seek a diverse group of patients to enroll in the study expected to last a total of 2 years.
“It’s one of the reasons we keep coming to Senders… We live in Twinsburg now, but we make the drive up here because the office is on the cutting edge of keeping our kids healthy,” said parent Beth Meyer.
Before enrolling, parents should research and weigh the risks associated with any vaccine trial.
“Every vaccine we study is a risk-and-benefit ratio and the risk is staying with these masks for the next couple of years,” the doctor said. “The risk is MIS-C, which is this terrible Kawasaki disease, the risk is not being able to be educated and go into a school.”
Standing with her 8-year-old daughter outside Senders Pediatrics on South Green Road, Meyer said safety regarding vaccine studies in children remains top of mind.
“Of course, we want to make sure our daughter is as safe as she can be, but I really trust Dr. Senders and will be participating in the study if we get that opportunity,” she said. “I feel like it’s a service to other people.”
Senders said the information learned during the study has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.
“That is why I went into medicine, it is to really make a difference,” he said.