San Antonio family involved in Pfizer vaccine pediatric trials

‘I wanted my children protected,’ says mother of three

SAN ANTONIO – Dr. Emily Becker, a physician and mother of three boys, took her oldest Nathan, age 9, and Nolan, age 7, to Corpus Christi in May when the clinical trials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine began for children ages 5 to 11.

“They were there actually on the very first day,” Becker said.

As soon as the trials began for those ages 2 through 5, she brought in her youngest, Nicholas, age 3.

Becker, who believes the vaccines are safe, said she jumped at the opportunity.

“I wanted my children protected,” she said, as well as other children and their parents.

Pfizer has announced the results so far for children like Nathan and Nolan, the oldest, show its vaccine is safe and effective. Data is still being analyzed for the younger ones, like Nicholas.

Becker said the older boys will be going back in December for a follow-up.

“We had many safety checks, check-ins with the doctors, all kinds of things to ensure the safety of the kids,” Becker said, giving her added peace of mind.

But, she pointed out, she doesn’t know if her children were given the vaccine or a placebo during the trial.

Becker said she and her husband, who is also a doctor, wanted participating in the trials to be a family decision.

“I wanted their input. I didn’t want this forced upon them,” Becker said. “We got their desires and their wants and their fears and concerns.”

As a mother, Becker said she urges other parents to do the same when the time comes to get their children vaccinated.

“I feel that us involving the kids from the beginning made this a breeze for them,” Becker said.

Nathan, her oldest, said he had to give it some thought first.

“Then I realized that it would be helping a lot of people and myself. So I just said, ‘Let’s go. Let’s do it,’” said Nathan Becker.

As a physician, Becker said many of her patients and their parents are still “on the fence” about the vaccine.

If there is no physician to ask, Becker said they can go to a pharmacist, another health provider or a religious leader.

“I’ve said this before. It’s a personal choice and I respect that,” Becker said.

But Becker said she also tells patients, family and friends, “Go to people you trust who can provide you with that sense of security, sense of safety, sense of hope. Let’s pull together and be a community in this.”

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About the Authors

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.

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