SAN ANTONIO – dr. Emily Becker, a physician and mother of three boys, took her oldest Nathan, 9 and Nolan, 7 to Corpus Christi in May when clinical trials of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine began for children ages 5 to 11.
“They were actually there on the very first day,” Becker said.
As soon as the trials started for those ages 2 to 5, she brought in her youngest, Nicholas, who is 3 years old.
Becker, who believes the vaccines are safe, said she jumped at the opportunity.
“I wanted my children to be protected,” she said, as well as other children and their parents.
Pfizer has announced results so far for kids like Nathan and Nolan, the oldest, showing the vaccine is safe and effective. Data is still being analyzed for the youngster, such as Nicholas.
Becker said the older guys will go back in December for a follow-up.
“We had a lot of security checks, check-ins with the doctors, all kinds of things to ensure the safety of the children,” Becker said, giving her extra peace of mind.
But, she said, she doesn’t know whether her children received the vaccine or a placebo during the trial.
Becker said she and her husband, who is also a physician, wanted participation in the studies to be a family decision.
“I wanted their input. I didn’t want this forced on them,” Becker said. “We have their desires and their wishes and their fears and worries.”
As a mom, Becker said she urges other parents to do the same when it comes time to get their kids vaccinated.
“I feel like it has become a cinch for them by involving the kids from the start,” Becker said.
Nathan, her oldest, said he should think about it first.
“Then I realized it would help a lot of people and myself. So I just said, ‘Let’s go. Let’s do it,’ Nathan Becker said.
As a doctor, Becker said many of her patients and their parents are still “on the fence” about the vaccine.
If there isn’t a doctor to ask, Becker said they can go to a pharmacist, another health care provider, or a religious leader.
“I’ve said this before. It’s a personal choice and I respect that,” Becker said.
But Becker said she also tells patients, family and friends: “Go to people you trust and who can give you that sense of security, that sense of security and hope. Let’s join hands and be a community in this.”
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