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Small South Euclid pediatric practice makes big impact in battle against COVID-19

Senders Pediatrics again a site of a pediatric vaccine trial
Four-year-old Upton McWilliams and her 21-month old sister, Crew, are two youngsters...
Four-year-old Upton McWilliams and her 21-month old sister, Crew, are two youngsters participating in a pediatric COVID vaccine trial(Vic Gideon)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 1:09 PM EDT
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SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WOIO) - The McWilliams family signed up their girls, 4-year-old Upton and 21-month old Crew, for a Pfizer vaccine trial aimed at children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old.

“We wanted to help other families,” said Celina McWilliams, the girls’ mother. “If putting our kids in a trial helps other families feel comfortable when it comes time for their kids to be vaccinated, that was kind of our motivating factor.”

“I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to help in any way that we could,” said River McWilliams, their father. “It’s one small thing that we can do to help in the advancement of science. We didn’t take it lightly at all, but it is something that I’m very proud of the girls for taking part in it.”

Senders Pediatrics in South Euclid is one of 50 trial sites around the country, and they had no trouble filling their 30 spots.

“We’re able to enroll 30 people and we had over 200 people that were on a list that were interested in participating,” said Shelly Senders. “To me, that’s exciting.”

Dr. Senders participated in four Pfizer trials, including one for 5 to 11 year olds and another for 12 to 17 year-olds, which is already approved.. He says he expects COVID to be with us for a while, and with mutations, it makes sense to have a children’s vaccine.

“We need a vaccine because we don’t know how COVID is morphing, what kinds of variants will be there, and if we find out that children are starting to drop like flies, then we need a vaccine to be able to vaccinate our children.”

The vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds will get approval by Thanksgiving if it proves effective, and there could be a vaccine for the younger group by the end of the year.

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