The parents of a 2-year-old girl who took part in the trial for COVID-19 vaccines for toddlers have had some peace of mind after she didn't have any bad reaction, except for the usual soreness on her arm.
Mom Maggie Sandwith believes that Caroline has developed the antibodies she needs to protect her and her family from COVID-19. It has been a big deal for the family to let Caroline have the vaccination because of Louise, her 4-year-old sister, who has leukemia.
The mom said they were challenged to keep Louise in the bubble when the pandemic started because of her delicate health. Doctors recommended that they maintain isolation, but they had to keep Caroline at home since daycare centers were temporarily shut down.
So, when the chance to join the trial for COVID-19 vaccines for toddlers came up, the Sandwith family didn't think twice. They believed that the vaccine would keep Louise protected while Caroline would be able to interact outside of her sister's bubble.
Caroline's COVID-19 Vaccine Shot
Caroline received her first Moderna shot in June and has completed the vaccination as of September. Dad Pierce Sandwith said that the experience was "not any different" than when she had her other vaccinations and booster shots as a baby. The toddler did cry and got angry as she did with her other non-COVID shots, but they had to stay longer at the hospital for the observation period.
According to the parents, the only reaction Caroline had was soreness on the injection site. They haven't received any other news from the scientists who conducted the trial, which they took as a good sign. On the other hand, Louise cannot get the vaccine since she's undergoing treatments for her illness.
"Caroline having [the vaccine] is such a Godsend for our family," Pierce said. "It just gives us another layer of protection for Louise as she hopefully finishes up treatment as an immunocompromised person."
Pierce said that they did not decide on enlisting Caroline in the trial on a whim. The family believes in the value of science since Louise's treatments were also once under trials and research before. Because of these trials, the chances of survival for her type of leukemia are at 90 percent.
COVID-19 Vaccination for Toddlers in the U.S.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet decided on COVID-19 vaccines for toddlers as that research will need more time to ascertain its safety and effectiveness. For now, the FDA's attention is on assessing the trial results for kids in the ages of 5 to 11 years old, which involved more than 2,200 participants.
Pfizer will be the first to file for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for their children's vaccine. Experts at Stanford Medicine, who helped with the trials, said that the initial data is "very encouraging."
Meanwhile, Cuba is the first nation in the world to administer COVID-19 vaccines for toddlers using the vaccine their homegrown scientists developed.
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