Coronavirus News: Clinical study testing COVID vaccine on kids under 12

COVID-19 News and Information
STONY BROOK, Long Island (WABC) -- There is growing concern about keeping children and teens safe from COVID-19 as cases around the country increase.

With younger people still not eligible to get the vaccine, studies are being done to see how safe the vaccine is for them.

The choice to enroll their kids was not a difficult one for the Barsi family of East Setauket, especially as the Delta variant doubles COVID cases around the country.

"This is how we can keep our kids safe, because I do worry, especially with the Delta variant, I don't want our children to suffer ill effects from COVID," said Jennifer Barsi.

Their three children, all under age 12, have now had their second shots as part of the clinical study at Stony Brook Hospital.

As part of the study, two-thirds of the young children got the Pfizer vaccine and the other third got a placebo.

Maggie, who is only 3, is doing better than fine and so are Lily and Danny, ages 6 and 8.

The Lerner-Finn family has one son now finishing a second dose of Moderna and another with two doses of Pfizer.

For them, the decision to take part is not only about physical well-being but emotional health as well.

"We did talk to the boys a lot about if, you know, we talk a lot about COVID in our house and they wanted to do it, too," said mother Chelsea Finn.

"The phrase that kept coming up in his vocabulary, he's 3, was 'When coronavirus is over, we can do this, when coronavirus is over,'" father Matthew Lerner said.

It's a sign of just how much the pandemic has affected kids and as the Delta variant surges, the concern now is more mitigation in the fall.

"Novemberish, perhaps Decemberish, I hope that we will get our shots in before flu season starts, because it's one less thing for us to worry about for our children," said Dr. Sharon Nachman with Stony Brook Children's Hospital.

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