Kaiser Permanente begins COVID-19 vaccine trials for kids ages 5 to 11

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Kaiser Permanente said it has started COVID-19 vaccine trials for kids ages 5 through 11, with some of those patients in Sacramento.

These are the first steps to get Food and Drug Administration approval for children in those age groups, a goal most medical experts believe will be accomplished by the fall.

“I just want other kids and people to know that the COVID vaccine is safe and it will get us more back to a completely normal life,” 11-year-old Luci Guardino told FOX40.

Guardino is one of the first kids under age 12 in Sacramento to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Yesterday was my first day going to the COVID study, and starting yesterday and this morning, my arm did feel a little bit heavy, but I don’t feel sick or anything,” she reported.

She’s joining 75 other children in Northern California who are taking part in the pediatric vaccine trial.

“The vaccine will be tested with Kaiser Permanente members ages 5 to 11 at three Kaiser Permanente sites in Northern California. That’s taking place in Oakland, Sacramento and in Santa Clara,” explained Chyresse Hill of Kaiser Permanente.

The health care provider also participated in vaccine trials for adults and those 12 to 17 years old.

For many parents, a vaccine for this age group has been long awaited.

“We are excited because they’ve been sitting at home for a long time,” grandfather Rai Bhab said.

However, some parents told FOX40 they know others who are more hesitant when it comes to giving the vaccine to their kids.

“There’s a lot of decision-making fatigue for parents. It’s really hard to decide what feels safe and what doesn’t. And the faster we can get back to normal, the better — but only when it’s safe,” Crystal Burns said.

“They don’t know. It kind of might have been rushed, and you don’t know what the vaccine would do to kids and long-term effects,” Steven Burns added.

However, Luci’s mother, Stephanie Yee-Guardino, who is a pediatrician herself at Kaiser South Sacramento, said she’s happy to have her children take part in the study.

“Being a part of a large important and historic study just seemed like a great opportunity, and I was really proud of them for all wanting to participate and help and just get closer back to normal,” she said.

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