5- and 7-year-old brothers participate in Pfizer vaccine trial at Duke
Posted May 6, 2021 2:09 p.m. EDT
Updated May 6, 2021 6:06 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for youths ages 12 to 15 as early as next week.
For younger children, the timeline is further behind – but a clinical trial at the Duke University Health System is currently studying its use on ages 5 to 11.
WRAL News spoke with two young boys who are excited to be part of that trial.
Their father is someone who has become familiar in the Triangle during the pandemic. Dr. Cameron Wolfe, infectious disease specialist at Duke, makes regular appearances on WRAL-TV talking about COVID.
He and his wife, who is also a doctor, hope sharing their story about their kids getting the vaccine will encourage other parents about the vaccine's safety.
Wolfe tweeted photos of his boys getting their second doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday.
Drs. Sarah and Cameron Wolfe said they had no reservations about their 5-year-old Lachlan and 7-year-old Callum joining the Duke trial for kids ages 5 to 11.
"I think it was an easy choice to get the vaccine, and early," said Sarah. "We were going to have peace of mind for caregivers, teachers, and the kids they interact with in school that we were adding safety."
And the kids were eager to get the shots.
"I thought it would protect me. And also stop me from spreading it – protecting me, and protecting everyone else," said Callum. "And the scientists would get to know if it works on kids also."
Lachlan Wolfe, who is 5 years old, admitted both of the shots "kind of hurted a little bit."
But the protection for kids is vitally important.
Dr. Cameron Wolfe said it's a myth that children don't have any risks with COVID, saying, "Kids are uniquely at risk of something called multi-system inflammatory syndrome, which is a post-COVID almost autoimmune dysfunction."
And that dysfunction is debilitating for kids.
After getting the vaccine, both kids seem to be feeling great – and full of energy.
When asked what he would tell other kids about the vaccine, 7-year-old Callum said, "Well, that you should do it. Because then you’ll be safe and you’ll be protecting everyone else around you."
His father agrees with him, pointing out that if enough school children get vaccinated, the community can get closer to herd immunity level.
Unlike some of the adult trials where you might get placebo, everyone gets the real shot in this trial. Health officials are looking at dose level and how much to give.
As far as a timeline -- Pfizer expects to have approval from the FDA for kids as young as 2 by this fall.
As for Callum and Lachlan: They're living the good life after getting their second doses – rewarded with doughnuts and a special ride on the Amtrak train.