mother recounts choice to have her young kids test the covid vaccine

Mother Recounts Choice To Have Her Young Kids Test The Covid Vaccine: ‘It Came Down To Us … Weighing Risk And Reward’

A mom by the name of Julia Fine penned an honest and vulnerable open letter describing the moment she decided to have her young children test the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I was alone with both my kids when I got the call asking if I was still interested in including them in the KidCOVE study — Moderna’s Covid vaccine clinical trial for children under 12,” the mother of two began.

mother recounts choice to have her young kids test the covid vaccine
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“In late summer I’d put both of their names on what then seemed like an interminable waiting list,” the mother continued on.

“Delta was rising, my oldest was due to resume in-person school for the first time since March 2020, and my youngest — a true pandemic baby — still barely went anywhere that wasn’t our home or outside. I was terrified and scrambling and didn’t think about the waivers I’d end up signing, the three hours in a steamy ER cubicle, the blood my 16-month-old would spray onto the nurse’s white cable-knit sweater. If we could end this cycle of loneliness and fear, we would do it.”

“After I booked us an appointment (‘they’re filling up fast’), I wondered if I’d been hasty. Was I sending my kids off to the front lines? Yes, someone has to be first, but should that someone be my child? The daily data collection might be worth it for the prize of Covid protection, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll come out of these next few weeks immune.”

“As in any worthwhile study, Moderna has included a control group: what if the kids go through all the blood draws and temperature takings and it turns out they’ve been given the placebo? This is, after all, an experiment. Things could go wrong. Things could go perfectly.”

man punches nurse after his wife is vaccinated for covid-19
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“I was simultaneously excited by and ashamed of the opportunity we’d been given. Vaccination is good! Finally, after almost two years, we might get some peace of mind! But my social media feed of nonstop ‘so proud of little so and so for choosing to get vaccinated’ highlighted the impossibility of my own littlest one’s choice, almost conned me into thinking it should be my child’s choice, despite having my kids on the recommended vaccine schedule for everything else when I know they’d rather skip straight to the lollipop.”

“Parents choose things for their kids all the time. Parenting is making decisions for your children. That is the literal job. The fact that we think kids deserve a say in public health is just a sign of how diseased our discourse has become. Isn’t it? Also parenting: second-guessing our decisions.”

“Friends and family had varying opinions,” the mom stated.

“Ultimately, it came down to us, these particular children’s parents, weighing risk and reward as we’ve done every day since early 2020. We’ve been waiting for this, the most studied vaccine in history, since before my daughter was born. Once it was authorized for their age groups, we always intended to get our kids vaccinated immediately.”

mother recounts choice to have her young kids test the covid vaccine
Image via Shutterstock

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“We have a responsibility as members of a larger community to step up and help others, when we can. We trust that these healthcare professionals and scientists have our kids’ best interests in mind. We want to teach our kids the importance of letting yourself experience short-term discomfort on behalf of the greater good.”

“First they gave the kids a Covid test, at which my son is a pro….Next was a full physical examination. This is when I told myself we were doing something important….This is when I was parenting: teaching my children resilience, teaching my children about pain,” the mother said in part.

“Neither kid had any immediate side effects. The baby ran a very low fever the next three days and was a bit of a grouch, but she’s also clearly teething so it’s hard to call causation. For seven days, we’ll track their injection sites, their temperatures, their moods. We’ll do a telehealth visit, come back in to get the next dose in the cycle four weeks after the first. At some point, they’ll unblind the study and we’ll know if our kids are protected.”

“Right now, we watch and record on our downloaded data app, we use the rectal thermometer and the ear thermometer and interpret every spit-up and whine. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe they did get the placebo. Maybe they’re halfway to immunity. Either way, the whole thing is significant. ‘When you were 16 months old,’ I’ll say to my daughter, looking back, ‘you helped save the world.'”

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