Omaha institutes lead COVID-19 vaccine trials in pregnant women and children

The institutions will be apart of a universal trial for the Pfizer vaccine for pregnant women and children 5 to 11 years old.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — After a year of unknown, followed by vaccinations for millions, the Child Health Research Institute and UNMC are looking to make an impact when it comes to expanding who can receive the vaccine.

“Now, we’re interested in understanding how this vaccine works a little bit better in special populations. So, in particular, we’re interested in the lifespan continuum,” Dr. Ann Anderson Berry, the Executive Director at Child Health Research Institute, said.

The institutions will be apart of a universal trial for the Pfizer vaccine for pregnant women and children 5 to 11 years old. The trials will start in late spring and then those who receive the vaccine will be monitored for six months.

They will even be looking into the possibility of immunity for a newborn if a pregnant mother is vaccinated.

“What this study gives us the opportunity to do is really take a deep dive in and look at how they’re functioning? How they’re crossing the placenta? What level of immunity we might expect for that neonate in the newborn period,” Dr. Anderson Berry said.

For doctors, making sure vaccines are safe for little ones, will be a crucial part in making sure they are protected and able to attend school while leading a more normal life.

Anderson Berry says, they’ve already seen hundreds of people show in being a part of the trials is already in the hundreds, though they will only be able to take 50 pregnant women and 50 children.

Around ten thousand people will be involved in the trial across the world. Dr. Anderson Berry said while the study will last about six months, it will take quite some time for vaccines to be approved for children.

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