Local pediatrician discusses COVID-19 vaccine for parents, clinical trials for children


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — While the COVID-19 vaccine is approved for adults, it’s not yet approved for children. Parents out there may be asking – what does this mean for my household? Some – may even be wondering how to enroll their child in a clinical trial.

Dr. Beth Orlowski, pediatric medical director for Rochester Regional Health’s Eastern Region says she’s encouraging parents to get the COVID vaccine as soon as they can.

“If parents get it themselves, than less likely to spread to children,” said Dr. Orlowski.

She says children commonly have very mild symptoms or none at all. So, by getting the vaccine as a parent you’re not just protecting them, you’re also helping lower community transmission – faster.

“It’s going to take a while for herd immunity, but the adult population can help that by getting the vaccine as soon as they can,” she said.

Dr. Orlowski says some parents are asking: should I wait until my children are allowed to get the vaccine – to get it as a family, or should I just get it now? Her response: don’t delay, if possible.

“The goal is to slow the COVID illness in the community.”

Dr. Orlowski says vaccine company Pfizer announced there will be trials for children 12+ in the near future. Some parents may be interested in signing their child up. If this is the case for you, she says make sure to do your research. Sit down and have that conversation with the child.

“Talk to your 12 year old about what they’re doing, how they’re helping science, general population, the elderly,” she said. “Research what’s expected of you, how often you have to go, what the common side effects are.”

Dr. Orlowski says she’s not just encouraging parents who are front-line workers to take the vaccine – but rather all parents. She expects the general population will have access to getting their vaccine as soon as this Spring.

For winter months, Dr. Orlowski offered some mask-wearing advice for parents and their children as well. Make sure to send your child to school with an extra mask, in case the one they use gets soiled at recess. Make sure appropriate masks are worn – scarves do not suffice as they are too thin and don’t form around your nose and face.

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