COMMACK, N.Y. - Pfizer is starting the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccine trials in children from 6 months old to 11 years old. Stony Brook Medicine's Advanced Specialty Care in Commack is one of about 100 trial sites participating across the globe.
Dr. Sharon Nachman, who is leading the study there, says that children in New York are getting infected.
"About a quarter of the new infections now in New York are with children, so in order to protect not just the children, but the entire family, we are going to have to get an effective vaccine for children as well," said Nachman, the chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children's Hospital.
Juliet Majeed, a mom of three from Queens, said she would love to sign up her 5- and 6-year-old children. Her 12-year-old kid already got the shot.
"I think when they're vaccinated, it's preventative from getting the virus and it's a better life for the kids then," Majeed said.
Then there are parents like Amber Narotsky of Manhattan who just want to wait it out a bit. Her son Dylan is almost 2.
"My husband and I definitely got vaccinated, we both believe in the science of the vaccine," Narotsky said. "I just don't feel comfortable yet with my son getting it until I see some more studies done about it."
Nachman said in this latest trial there will be three stages of administering the Pfizer vaccine, starting with the older kids in this age bracket. Also, many of the participants will only receive the placebo. The doctor is also waiting for a directive from Pfizer to see if kids younger than 6 years old will get a lower dosage of the vaccine.
"We know the vaccine in adults is very efficacious," Nachman said. "We will look at how safe it is and how the immune response children have to the vaccine.
Nachman said her hope is for the results of this trial to be submitted to the FDA in November or even earlier.
The trial will enroll about 4,500 participants worldwide. And there is still room for participants to enroll at Stony Brook. Families who are interested need to make an appointment either by phone at 631-638-COVI or via email at CoV_prevention_network@stonybrook.edu.
The list of worldwide vaccine trial locations is here.