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Omaha doctors to study COVID-19 vaccine effects on children, expecting mothers and their babies

Omaha researchers are joining a study of COVID-19 effects on pregnant mothers, their children and older children.
Pregnancy and vaccines
Posted at 12:58 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 14:12:27-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Physician-scientists in Omaha will be carrying out a joint study of the effects of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on expecting mothers and their newborn babies as well as children ages five and older.

According to Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, the study will be carried out in a partnership between researchers from University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and Children’s Hospital and Medical Center and is part of a global study being coordinated by the Child Health Research Institute (CHRI).

“CHRI is excited to support these two vaccine studies conducted by our highly skilled investigators at our sponsoring institutions, Children’s and UNMC. Bringing world-class research to the children of Omaha and Nebraska is core to our mission, and we are proud to be a part of ensuring that children have safe and effective access to a COVID-19 vaccine in a timely manner,” says Ann Anderson Berry, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of CHRI.

Worldwide, about 4,000 pregnant women are expected to take part in the study and about 50 of those will be sourced locally.

A placebo-controlled study will be used and researchers will follow the health of the mothers and their babies until their newly-born child is six months old. At that time, participants will be told if they were given the vaccine or not and have the option of being vaccinated.

In the spring or early summer, about 50 local children ages 5 to 18 will also be studied. About 6,000 children worldwide will be part of this portion of the study.

Those involved are excited to build upon previous studies and evaluate whether the vaccine is safe for groups of people who have yet to be figured into vaccination efforts.

“COVID-19 vaccine studies for pregnant women and children build on the knowledge gained from the completed adult studies. These important trials provide necessary safety and effectiveness information to expand implementation of COVID-19 vaccines to these groups. We are proud to contribute to these global efforts,” said Dr. Simonsen, M.D., MBA, chair of the UNMC Department of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s.

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