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Parents signing children as young as 3 years old up for COVID-19 vaccine trial

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Posted at 6:07 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 07:11:41-04

CINCINNATI — Two mothers entered their children, one as young as 3 years old, in a COVID-19 vaccine trial for young children to help understand the virus and to show that the vaccines are safe.

Dr. Katherine Auger and Dr. Tina Sosa both work at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital as an associate professor of pediatrics and a pediatric hospitalist, respectively. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 14% of the total COVID-19 cases are children, and Auger and Sosa have seen how the virus effects young children.

"I have taken care of kids who have been hospitalized with the coronavirus, and I've seen how sick they can get," Auger said.

"I was really concerned about what I was seeing in the hospital with children who had Covid infection," Sosa said. "I also know there's a number of children who've been infected with Covid that have long-term symptoms that we're just starting to understand."

That's why when the opportunity to enroll their own children in a COVID-19 vaccine trial came up, they jumped at the opportunity to protect their children, as well as to show others the vaccines are safe for children to receive.

Auger's three children, ages 13, 11 and 5, had some side effects like achy feelings after getting the vaccine, but Sosa's 3-year-old child had no side effects.

"When you think about preventing acute Covid illness... we know children are increasingly transmitting the virus amongst themselves because they are unvaccinated," Sosa said.

"Really a great opportunity for, one, for them to get vaccinated early and be protected early from the coronavirus, and then two, to really understand what is the right way to vaccinate kids," Auger said.

If you would like to enroll your child in a COVID-19 vaccine trial at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, you can still do so by clicking here.

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Senior Reporter Larry Seward is focusing his reporting on the COVID-19 vaccine to bring you answers and information. Contact Larry at 513-667-4804 or larry.seward@wcpo.com.