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From clinical trials to fully-vaccinated, mom shares kids' vaccination stories

One UAB professor and a mom of two boys between the ages of 5 and 11 shares her experience of enrolling her kids into clinical trials to them being fully-vaccinated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Before any COVID-19 shot was administered, a whole lot of research had to take place. 

The same goes for the children's COVID-19 vaccine and for many parents, there may be a bit of hesitancy when it comes to getting their child vaccinated.

Oftentimes, this is because it is thought that there is not enough research behind the vaccines.

But on the opposite end, one UAB professor and mom jumped at the opportunity to have her children involved in said research.

"When the Delta variant train entered our region and we started seeing even more young people, children getting very sick. I started making phone calls to find out if there are any clinical trials available for my children who are both in the five to 11-year-old range," said UAB Infectious Diseases Division Associate Professor Ellen Eaton.

There were just a few spots left in the trials for the Pfizer vaccine at Children's of Alabama, so Eaton enrolled both of her children. 

RELATED: ADPH: COVID vaccine for kids now available in Alabama

"Although we did not know at the time, one of them ended up getting the placebo and one of them ended up getting the Pfizer vaccine," said Eaton.

Turns out, the professor's 6-year-old had received the Pfizer dose, while her 9-year-old received the placebo dose.

"We weren't confident that he had actually gotten the real vaccine," said Eaton. "His first shot was totally uneventful. Both of my boys went back to school the same day, they slept through the night, we had no fever."

Overall, Eaton describes the symptoms of the vaccine as uneventful and now that the trials are over and the vaccine is approved for those aged 5 to 11, her 9-old-year son can also get vaccinated.

"Fortunately, my son did well [with his first dose]. He had some slight arm tenderness but was able to go right back to school and participate in its after-school activities. He slept through the night he's able to go back to school the next day," said Eaton.

RELATED: Kids ages 5-11 are already starting to get their first COVID-19 shots