RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) – Many parents across Central Virginia are asking: “When can my child get the COVID-19 vaccine?”
8News spoke to one mom whose two sons are in a vaccine trial right now. One physician assistant based out of Chesterfield said it’s research like that — that could help learn more about whether or not the vaccine is right for kids.
Physician Assistant Dustin Bogan with Pediatric & Adolescent Partners in Chesterfield said there’s not enough data yet to confirm the vaccine’s safe for kids.
“Medical providers, scientists, all that good stuff, we rely on the research and so, so far we just don’t have the studies to say that it’s safe,” Bogan said.
For a mom of three Kasey Terrill, entering her two sons into the Virginia Research Center’s Pfizer vaccine trial was a no-brainer.
“Here’s a chance to get back to life and get back to you know, regular going to school and regular, you know, protecting our teachers,” she told 8News.
Terrill’s interest in the trial started when her husband entered himself and began researching.
“As soon as he found out they were inviting kids 12 and up, he went and signed them up the very first day,” she said. “I think without even talking to me, but I’m excited about it too.” she laughed.
Terrill said even if it doesn’t work out, her husband and sons are still a part of an important data collection to see things like how long the vaccine will last in your body and if it still protects you the same amount after a certain period of time.
For Terrill, learning the COVID-19 vaccine, unlike previous vaccines like those for measles, only has four ingredients was also appealing.
“This vaccine, it doesn’t actually contain any of the virus itself,” Bogan said. “It’s basically a blueprint for your body to start forming that protection.”
Bogan tells 8News the pediatric office he works for has been getting a lot of questions from parents on the side effects and risks. He said some parents have asked how soon they can get their kids vaccinated.
Terrill’s sons Cameron and Jackson have received both doses of the vaccine and will remain in the trial for the next two years for data collection. They could hear back in the summer or fall if the trial was successful.
Terrill’s husband and sons will get their blood work and antibodies checked for two years while also entering data into an app on how they’re feeling and if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 once a week.
“They’re really excited, mostly because they’re getting paid,” Terrill laughed.
She said the Virginia Research Center did not take their insurance information. They will receive $100 each visit for four visits and $5 a week to fill out the form on the app.
If trials like these are successful, Bogan said we could know whether or not the vaccine is safe for kids as early as this fall or perhaps by the end of the year.
Bogan tells 8News the vaccine trial is a personal choice, but the benefits are high will the risks remain low. One of the only situations he says he wouldn’t recommend the vaccine trial for kids is if the child has had severe reactions to vaccines in the past.