DENVER (KDVR) — It’s never easy finding out your young child has cancer, let alone dealing with that in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s a challenge Erin Eckert and her family are more than willing to overcome.
“Our son who’s 4 years old was diagnosed with clear cell sarcoma of the kidney,” Eckert said. “In order for us to protect Dean, we have to keep ourselves safe.”
Eckert’s family has taken every precaution reasonable to keep COVID out of their Colorado Springs home, as Dean undergoes chemotherapy with a compromised immune system.
“For us it’s always like is the juice worth the squeeze?” Eckert said. “So is it worth getting Dean sick?”
As you can imagine, she is anxious to know when it will be safe to vaccinate her kids, especially Dean.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told ProPublica in an exclusive interview, he expects young children entering first grade in September may be authorized to get inoculated with certain COVID-19 vaccines.
“We’re in the process of starting clinical trials in what we call age de-escalation, where you do a clinical trial with people 16 to 12, then 12 to 9, then 9 to 6,” Fauci told ProPublica.
“In this COVID vaccine time, we’ve really accelerated everything and that’s why we’re starting to see, even after a few months of these vaccines that we’re starting to think, what about children?” said Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at Denver Health Dr. James Gaensbauer.
Gaensbauer points out many vaccines have been historically tested in young populations, because people typically receive what are now considered traditional vaccines when they are still children.
And while the pandemic has accelerated certain timelines for clinical trials, the method’s used to create the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are entirely different from the vaccine methods of the past, and may be handled as an extra precaution.
“MRNA vaccines are new across the board,” Gaensbauer said. “There are no pediatric vaccines that have used this technology, and that’s certainly another reason why people are being a little bit cautious.”