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Children's Hospital Colorado Served As Largest Enrolling Site For Pfizer COVID Vaccine Trial For Children Ages 5-11

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – As Pfizer seeks FDA approval for their COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to children 5 years old and older, Children's Hospital Colorado has been among the leading health providers in the world helping supply data on vaccinating children. Children's Hospital in Aurora served as the largest enrolling site for the Pfizer trial in children ages 5 to 11 in the entire world for months.

(credit: CBS)

"In late June, early July, we enrolled 252 patients into that trial. We were the largest enrolling site in the international trial in that age group," said Dr. Lalit Bajaj, Pediatric Emergency Physician, Chief Quality and Outcomes Officer at Children's Hospital Colorado.

In the study at Children's Hospital, one out of every three kids was given a placebo. The results were submitted to Pfizer and participants have still not been un-blinded.

However, in preliminary data, Dr. Bajaj said the Pfizer vaccine was proving efficient in the young age group.

"The 10 microgram dose, which is a third of the dose used in kids 12 and above, generated a fantastic immune response," Bajaj told CBS4's Dillon Thomas.

Bajaj said symptoms experienced after administration appropriately reflected those which adults were experiencing with the Pfizer vaccine. Some do not get symptoms, while others may experience fatigue, headache, sore arm and fever.

Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine
The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on December 15, 2020 in Stratford, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

As COVID-19 cases soar globally, especially with the Delta variant, many children are also falling ill to the virus.

"We are hospitalizing many more kids than we did earlier in the pandemic because this Delta variant is so contagious and causes kids to get sick," Bajaj said.

Pfizer has not released their final data to the staff at Children's Hospital, nor the public. However, it is believed that data will be released in the coming days or weeks.

Bajaj said, as a children's health expert, he believes the data will ultimately support vaccinating kids 5 years old and up.

"The benefits of getting vaccinated to outweigh the risks. But, that is from the data that we know. We still haven't seen the 5-to-11 data," Bajaj said. "There are serious risks to not getting vaccinated. If we are really going to get ahold of the transmission of this virus, I think it will be important to extend this vaccine into the childhood age group."

Bajaj said there is already hesitancy by some when it comes to getting their kids vaccinated, even among adults who supported the vaccine.

Bajaj said hesitancy is natural. He encouraged parents to speak with their doctors and pediatricians with any concerns they may have before getting their child vaccinated when the Pfizer vaccine is approved.

pfizer vaccine children
(credit: CBS)

Pfizer vaccines for those five and older may be available by the end of October. Bajaj believed Moderna would be available for the group by the end of the year.

RELATED: 10-Year-Old Happy To Be 'Making A Mark' By Participating In COVID Vaccine Trial At Children's Hospital Colorado

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