WILSON, N.C. — October is a pivotal month for vaccinations, whether you are a parent or a child.
Pfizer is pushing for FDA approval of its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.
What You Need To Know
Pfizer has asked the FDA for approval of its vaccine for children ages 5-11
Lennox Harrison Torres is almost 9 months old and would be eligible down the road
His mother, Shanybel Santer Torres, wants more time to decide if she will vaccinate him
The first shots could go in arms starting in early November. The vaccine maker has been running pediatric clinical trials at Duke University for kids in that age range.
Results for younger children will have to wait, which is why a mom in Wilson says she will too.
Lennox Harrison Torres lives life one adventure at a time. When most babies almost 9 months old are only crawling, Lennox captures the sound of that and walking.
“We just hang out," his mother, Shanybel Santer Torres, said. "I love being able to work from home and being able to spend time with him while I do it.”
Lennox is her only child. Taking and making calls from home as a pharmacy technician lets the single mom watch her baby.
“You learn strength you never knew you had, having a child,” Santer Torres said.
The 32-year-old doesn’t have to make a decision about this COVID-19 vaccine. She is waiting for FDA approval of the vaccine for children of Lennox's age and even then, she’s not sure when she’ll get him vaccinated.
“You just pray about it and hope that your choices are the right choices for them to best protect them," she said.
A mother’s instinct isn’t the same as scientific research.
Dr. Emmanuel Walter has seen what vaccines can do in the body of a child for more than 30 years as a pediatrician.
”What we are doing by (offering) vaccines in young kids is actually providing protection to them ... against serious infection,” Walter said.
Walter is the director of the vaccine and pediatric clinical trials for Pfizer at Duke University. They’re learning how a child’s body responds to immunization. In their studies, two-dose vaccinations are a third of the amount for children ages 5-11.
They were given 10 micrograms each round, versus the 30 micrograms adults have been taking each time throughout the pandemic.
“I'm not against the vaccine," Santer Torres said.
She said she’s fully vaccinated. To protect Lennox, she limits his exposures. Family members have to show a negative test result before she’ll let them visit.
As for other vaccines recommended for babies: Lennox has all the CDC-recommended shots for a baby his age. By the time he is 6, he will receive 14 including chickenpox, measles and the flu.
For now, Santer Torres said she’ll be open to him getting the COVID-19 shot when it’s approved. Like so many parents, she wants to do the right thing for her baby and for herself. There’s no timeline for that.
“It's definitely a challenge, but you have that motherly instinct that you just do what you feel is right for your child,” she said.
A Duke Health spokesperson confirmed children as young as 6 months old are part of a group undergoing testing for Pfizer vaccinations. Those results are expected either later this month or sometime in November.