RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Pfizer announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine was safe in children ages five to 11. The company enrolled 2,268 children in the trial.
One of those participants was an 8-year-old from Raleigh, Sebastian Prybol. He was enrolled in the studies at Duke Health.
“I was nervous if there was gonna be any bad effects but there wasn’t,” he said.
He had a sore arm for two days but felt okay otherwise. He hoped getting the shot meant his whole family was more protected against COVID-19.
“I feel safer because I don’ want my parents to get it. I don’t want my grandparents to get it,” he said.
His mother, Britni Prybol, was confident the vaccine was safe because it was the shot she got.
“We wanted to make sure we were doing our part to try and stop this pandemic,” she explained.
Britni Prybol believes vaccines are key to getting this pandemic under control.
“If more adults would step up and get the vaccine, this virus would at least dampen down some and I also feel like a big piece of that puzzle is children,” she said.
Pfizer didn’t disclose any raw data or side effects. They did say trials showed the vaccines were “safe, well tolerated and showed robust neutralizing antibody responses.”
The dosing for children is about a third of that used in people ages 12 and older.
Sebastian is hopeful for what the vaccines mean for the future.
“We can just get a vaccine every year like a flu shot and everything just goes back to normal,” Sebastian said.
“I agree, I think it offers a lot of hope,” Britni Prybol said.
She’s seeing that hope in other parents reaching out.
“Facebook messages or Instagram messages from people I didn’t know or hadn’t talked to in a long time asking ‘how did you get Sebastian in the trial’,” Britni said.
If other children are nervous about their shot, Sebastian said to think about what it means for others.
“One person can save quite a few lives just by getting one little shot,” he said.
Pfizer announced they planned to submit for authorization of this age group soon but there’s no date yet. Their next goal is to get the vaccine approved for kids from 6 months old to 5 years old. Data from those trials are expected before the end of the year.