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Local parents discuss decision to enroll child in COVID-19 vaccine trial

Pine Belt medical facilities, such as Hattiesburg Clinic, participated in the national clinical trials for COVID vaccinations.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The CDC recently approved both Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccinations for children as young as six months old.

Multiple clinical trials were held before the CDC gave approval for vaccinations in younger kids, and local Pine Belt medical facilities, such as Hattiesburg Clinic, were some of the participating clinics.

“We, of course, have been involved on the Moderna side of the vaccine trial...,” said Dr. Rambod Rouhbakhsh, Hattiesburg Clinic & Forrest General Hospital. “On the Moderna side, there’s about 6,700 people in America and Canada enrolled under the age of six, about 2,500 of which were in this age group of six months to two years.”

One of those roughly 7,000 kids who participated is five-year-old Truitt.

While there were risks of side-effects, his parents, Matt and Anna, said Truitt handled it like a champ.

“After the first shot, his leg was a little sore, and after the second shot, he had a headache the next day and then he was fine,” said Anna “He definitely handled the shot a lot better than me or my husband did, and we took a full sick day after each one.”

According to Matt and Anna, the decision to enroll the then four-year-old at Hattiesburg Clinic was one of heart.

“Matt’s father is significantly immunocompromised, and we see them often, and we wanted to do our part to take care of them; we wanted to take care of our family,” said Anna

Some front-line workers said they are thankful for kids like Truitt and their parents.

“We’re just thankful for families like this who participate in this trial and all trials because this information is used locally, state-wide, nationally and globally to help the world, you know, get over this Coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Anita Henderson, Hattiesburg Clinic Pediatrics.

Henderson noted just how far Truitt’s and other kids’ participation goes in the fight to save lives.

“Now that we have a safe and effective vaccine, we want to try and prevent those complications, those cases and ultimately those deaths,” said Dr. Henderson.

Hattiesburg Clinic said child vaccines have been ordered and are expected to begin going into arms early next week.

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