Local Doctor Says Vaccinating Children Is Critical In Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic

Pfizer announced this week its vaccine is safe and 100% effective in children ages 12 to 15. There are now at least two studies in the U.S. to determine how the vaccines will affect children.

Video Transcript

DENISE KOCH: Safe and effective-- that is the word from Pfizer when it comes to vaccinating children ages 12 to 15. Hello, everybody. I'm Denise Koch.

VIC CARTER: And I'm Vic Carter. There are now at least two studies here in the US to determine how the vaccines will affect children.

DENISE KOCH: WJZ is live right now. Ava-joye Burnett tells us how doctors here in Baltimore play a key role in that process. Ava-joye?

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Good afternoon. Well, doctors here at the University of Maryland School of Medicine actually helped to write the safety guidelines for the Moderna pediatric trials. And then today, we're getting new details for the Pfizer trials. Apparently, that is 100% effective in kids as young as 12.

Dr. James Campbell, a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has long been an advocate for vaccinating children.

JAMES CAMPBELL: If we leave all children unvaccinated, we have this big chunk of the population where the virus can continue to circulate.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: His imprint is on the safety guidelines for the Moderna vaccine trials for kids. And this morning, we learned Pfizer has made progress in their pediatric trial. The drug-maker says the vaccine is safe and 100% effective in kids between 12 and 15.

JAMES CAMPBELL: We did have the 16 and 17-year-olds, but now we're getting down even into middle-school-aged children and showing that the vaccine has high efficacy.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: This new research comes as COVID-19 cases are making a comeback in several states. Here in Maryland, health officials have said young people are driving the surge.

CALEB CHUNG: I definitely hope we get back to whatever we would call normal.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Across the country, doctors have been signing their kids up for the trials.

CALEB CHUNG: It's definitely a very special opportunity to be able to do something like this because, usually, I'm just at home doing online school, and there's not much I can really do to fight back against the virus.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: The hope is that their participation will reassure other families that the process is safe as more students prepare to return to the classrooms this fall.

RICHARD CHUNG: We need kids to do these trials so that kids can get protected.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: And if those vaccine-makers receive that emergency-use authorization from the FDA, the older kids could get vaccinated this fall, and the younger ones as early as the first quarter of 2022. Live tonight, Ava-joye Burnett for WJZ.