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Polis calls children who participated in COVID-19 vaccine trial 'heroes'

252 kids participated in the largest trial site in the country at Children's Hospital Colorado
colorado kids covid-19 vaccine trial.jpg
Posted at 5:16 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 01:56:13-05

DENVER — More than 11,000 Colorado kids have received their first dose of the Pfizer shot after the CDC approved the vaccine for kids ages 5-11 last week.

In a press conference Monday, Gov. Jared Polis thanked the Colorado children who participated in the largest trial site in the country at Children’s Hospital Colorado, with 252 kids participating over the summer. Dr. Eric Simoes, the primary investigator of the Pfizer trial at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said about one-third of the kids received a placebo, and those children are now on their way to being fully vaccinated as well. In total, 5,000 children had applied to participate, Simoes said.

“As principal investigator of this site, and one of the largest sites in the world, I believe in the science and integrity of the trial and this vaccine,” Simoes said.

The vaccine is almost 91% effective in preventing infections in children, and 99% of the kids who participated in the trial had antibody responses that were protective, Simoes said.

One of the fourth-grade trial participants said she feels lucky to have been part of the trial to help keep kids safe, especially her baby brother who can’t get vaccinated.

“I’m glad I was in the trial because now other kids can also get the vaccine. I think kids should do it to protect the ones they love and keep themselves healthy, as well as keep our schools open,” she said

Ten-year-old Liam, another trial participant, said when his parents asked if he wanted to be part of the trial, he said “yes” because he wanted to help protect the most vulnerable after more than a year of being in the pandemic.

“I recently found out that I received the vaccine and not the placebo. Today, I feel great, and I was happy I was able to help,” Liam said. “The vaccine is the best way we can help stop the spread of the virus and protect people who are most vulnerable.”

Polis said 17 kids ages 0-11 and eight kids ages 12-17 are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, none of whom are vaccinated.

Simoes said that even those who are vaccinated are encouraged to wear masks to prevent transmission of the virus and offer added protection.