A couple in Baldwinsville, New York, said it was “an honor” to enroll their baby in a COVID drug trial.
At 8 months old, Enzo Mincolla is one of the youngest people in the world to receive two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, according to WSYR-TV.
Enzo received his first shot at the ripe old age of 7 months as Pfizer conducts trials in multiple places across the U.S. to determine the impact of its vaccine on children. The CDC does not at this time recommend a COVID vaccine for children under 12 years old.
“Children under 18 make up 85 million people in [the] U.S. – about 20 percent of the population,” Dr. Yvonne Maldonado of Stanford University told ABC News. Stanford is another site testing babies. “Getting them vaccinated is a major contribution to reducing transmission of virus.”
In the Syracuse-area trial at Upstate Medical University, Enzo is the youngest participant, according to Dr. Joseph Domashowske, an Upstate pediatric infectious disease doctor and the trial’s principal investigator, the Syracuse Post Standard reported.
Enzo’s parents, both doctors, said they were fine with their baby being used in the drug trial.
“No hesitation whatsoever,” Mike Mincolla said. “I’ve been following the studies very closely in the adults. I’ve been following the science very closely when they started doing phase one trials.”
“I’m really excited for him to start paving the way for other kids to get vaccinated, yeah, it was an honor, an honor to participate,” Marissa Mincolla said.
“We both feel it’s important to end this pandemic, and the quickest and safest way is to vaccinate our way out of it,” Mike Mincolla added.
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Mike Mincolla, a family medicine doctor at CNY Family Care in East Syracuse, uses his son’s participation when he talks with patients hesitant over being vaccinated.
“I tell them, ‘I feel so comfortable with this vaccine I gave it to my 7-month-old child,’” he said. “It’s safe, effective and it works.”
The babies in the trial receive one-tenth of the amount of vaccine that goes into the arms of adults.
The trial is on pause, Domashowske said.
“The concern is the dose may be too low for that age group,” he said, noting that none of the babies have had side effects.
Blood tests are being done to see if the shots were effective. If not, Pfizer may test another batch of infants at a higher dose.
Dr. Zinaida Good, a research fellow at the Stanford cancer center, put her 7-month-old and 3-year-old in the trial there.
“We thought participating is a really good way to protect our kids,” she said. “So far, because this vaccine has been tested in a lot of teenagers and so many adults and it was shown [to be] very safe, we felt pretty comfortable to participate.”