HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – A pediatric immunologist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is speaking out about her decision to enroll her 13-month-old son in a COVID vaccine trial for children as young as 6 months old, saying she is doing it to help her son and help curb this deadly disease.

In an interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, Dr. Hanadys Ale said, “The most important thing is not that our children are guinea pigs, it is that they are part of something even bigger than all us. First of all, I want him to be protected so it is important to get the vaccine. I want him to have antibodies against COVID and the best way to create anti bodies is to have a vaccination.”

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”In order to achieve herd immunity and that is where enough of the population is immune to the disease and the incidents of the virus decrease significantly, everyone needs to get the vaccination, including our children,” she added.

She has enrolled her son Alejandro in the KidCOVE Moderna trial, which tests how the vaccine protects children between 6 months and 12 years old from getting sick if they come in contact with SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

Some 6,975 children would be part of the study nationwide, receiving two injections in the upper arm 28 days apart and they would be monitored for their reactions by doctors. Pfizer is also conducting a pediatric trial for those 6 months to 2 years old.

Dr. Ron Ford, the chief medical officer at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, is applauding the doctor’s decision.

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He said, “That is courageous not because it is dangerous but because this person is taking a step to advance science. This is how we find out about the efficacy and safety of vaccines. But a lot of work has been done ahead of time to really assure the safety and positive outcomes for all of those children that are enrolled.”

Dr. Ale said, “This vaccine can save my child’s life and can save other people’s lives. The more people who get vaccinated the faster we going to get out of the his horrible pandemic. In the beginning children were not getting as sick but after this Delta variant became prevalent in the community we are seeing children getting sicker than before.”

It lead to a spike in cases in September at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

”In order to stop this virus and keep it from mutating and keep more variants from emerging it is essential that we be able to vaccinate our children,” she said.

She also expressed concern about MIS-C, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.

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”It’s a severe complication that COVID patients can have with multi-organ failure and requiring intensive care treatment and sometimes requiring intubation. We have seen these patients with multi organ failure having to be put on dialysis and there have been long term problems,” she said.

Peter D'Oench