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Ochsner Health conducting COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial for kids 5 to 11 years of age

Children will be studied around the world
Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Ochsner Health has begun enrolling children ages 5 to 11 for the latest clinical trial involving Pfizer’s COVID-19 two-dose vaccine.

Ochsner says 4,500 children in that age group will be studied globally because kids’ immune systems are not the same as adults.

Ochsner expects to involve 75 kids in its investigation. It says it is important for kids to be protected against the virus.

Dr. Julia Garcia-Diaz, Director of Clinical Infectious Diseases Research says the vaccine has been tweaked for the 5 to 11 age group.

“The doses are not the same, the doses will be different, and those doses have come about since some very rigorous looking at multiple doses to arrive at the dose that we will be using for the children,” she said.

Dr. William Lennarz is Chair of Pediatrics at Ochsner Health.

He says some kids do get very ill from the infection the virus causes.

“Here at Ochsner Hospital for Children we continue until this day to take care of children in the hospital who are amongst the rare subgroup that do get serious infection and so at the more individual level while children are much less likely to get serious illness it can happen and as parents we should all want our children to be protected from this infection just like we protect them from pertussis and tetanus and polio,” said Lennarz.

Ochsner says as part of the trial children will be tracked for 18 months and will have blood drawn to track the duration of their immune response and to see if they contract the virus.

Ochsner also tested the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine in children 12 to 15.

The health system says soon it will begin recruiting children ages 2 to 5, and then 23 months to six months.

Parents interested in having their children take part in the clinical trial can find information at: COVIDVaccine@ochsner.org.

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