Three siblings are taking part in the clinical trials looking at how well Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine works in young children.
Ellie, six; Christian, three; and Sloan, one; Bui of Jefferson, Louisiana – which is just to the west of New Orleans – each received their first shot in June.
Pfizer, which had the first COVID-19 vaccine available for any American over the age of 12, is hoping to get emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to distribute their vaccine to children even younger by the fall.
The three children’s parents told ABC News they are excited that their children have an opportunity to take part in the study and get access to the vaccine early.
The trials start as parents around the country are split as to whether they should vaccinate their children.
Three children in the Bui family are taking part in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trials for children under the age of 12. Pictured, left to right:
Christian Bui, sis, receives a shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as part of a clinical trial
‘For us, our kids living safely in a world where we don’t have to worry about them getting sick from COVID, being able to go to school, have playdates with their friends, we feel strongly that vaccine is what is going to get us to those goals,’ said their mother Dr Erin Biro, who works as a neurosurgeon at Ochsner Medical Center in Jefferson.
Their father, Dr. Cuong Bui, also works as a neurosurgeon at the same hospital.
Pfizer began its trials of the vaccine for children under the age of 12 earlier this month.
Children will receive doses of the vaccine 21 days apart from one another and researchers will look for side effects and other potential reactions.
Children who receive the vaccine will also be tested for antibodies to see if the vaccine is producing resistances to the virus.
Pfizer hopes to have data available from its trials in the second half of this year so the shot can be administered to kids by the fall.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, predicts that every American will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by the first quarter of 2022.
Biro enrolled her children in the trial partly out of concern over the Selta variant of the virus.
The variant, which initially appeared in India, has been found to be contagious than other variants, and has swept across the world.
It currently accounts for more than 20 percent of all new COVID-19 cases in the nation.
‘The Delta variant has really picked up steam in the U.S. and I think in Louisiana especially, given the fact that so much of our population is not vaccinated yet that it has a really significant chance of causing an uptick in COVID cases in Louisiana,’ Erin Biro told ABC News.
‘So we feel fortunate that we have the possible chance of having our kids protected, but more so getting the pediatric trial across the finish line so that all kids have the possibility of being protected from the variant if it becomes more significant or if there’s more cases this fall.’
‘We’re super excited that our entire family now has the opportunity and the chance of possibly being protected, and also just contributing to the research and the science to hopefully get all kids across the finish line,’ she said.
Not all parents are as open to getting their children vaccinated, though.
A recent poll finds only 29 percent of parents with children under the age of 18 say they will get their children vaccinated ‘right away’.
COVID-19 cases in the United States are currently at their lowest point since the pandemic first began in March 2020, with the nation recording less than 80,000 cases in the past week.
Experts fear the Delta variant will cause cases to spike again among the nations remaining unvaccinated population.
Currently, over 65 percent of American adults have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, though the remaining unvaccinated population is increasingly unlikely to get the shots.
As America reopens, and unvaccinated and vaccinated people mingle, some fear a vaccine resistant strain of the virus could form in the near future.