© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A vial of the Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast
By Catherine Koppel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two teenage brothers in the United States who signed up for a coronavirus vaccine trial said they did so because they wanted to make their own little contribution to history.
Nathan Williams (NYSE :), 17, and his sister Delilah, 12, signed up for the trial after spending months in pandemic isolation. His mother, Melanie Williams, is a nurse and hospital administrator who works in a ward that cares for COVID-19 patients.
“The first thing that came to mind was to be a man for others, mainly just to help others before worrying about my own concerns,” Nathan said.
Enrolled first in Pfizer Inc (NYSE 🙂 in the vaccine research trial at Ochsner Health, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and later joined by Delilah.
It was totally her decision, Melanie said.
“They would see me come home and they would meticulously remove my shoes at the door and nothing came in. And there was also a certain amount of time that we distanced ourselves because there was an increase in cases in the inpatient setting.” ,” she said.
“I put the brochure on the table. I didn’t have any conversation with them about it unless they asked me questions. And then I was sure, why not?”
A panel of outside advisers from the US Food and Drug Administration voted overwhelmingly Thursday to support the emergency use of the vaccine, developed by Pfizer with Germany’s BioNTech SE (NASDAQ :). The agency is expected to authorize the vaccine shortly for a nation that has lost more than 285,000 lives to COVID-19.
The lead investigator for the Ochsner Health trial said kids like the Williamses were providing a great public service.
“We have several vaccines for the pediatric population,” said Dr. Julia Garcia-Diaz, citing measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, pneumonia and flu.
“And all those vaccines … had to be tested in children to ensure that they are safe and effective in that population. COVID is no different.”
The Williams brothers have experienced no side effects from the test injections, which could have been vaccine doses or a placebo in the double-blind study. Tracking and reporting your temperatures and any symptoms is a small inconvenience in a global pandemic, they said.
“To think that it could be a small part of the story is something exciting,” Delilah said.
“And if I’m just a little person in the story, that’s fine with me.”
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