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'Almost started crying of happiness' | New mom hopeful to get baby vaccinated after Moderna asks FDA to OK COVID-19 vaccine in kids 5 and under

Melanie Reardon Livers said she will get her 8-month-old son the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's approved for emergency use.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Melanie Reardon Livers loves being a new mom but is still missing out on one of the things she was looking forward to most. 

"One of the things I really looked forward to was handing my child to other people to share the joy but I have to be super careful about that," Melanie said. 

The Greensboro mother's 8-month-old baby boy cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine, because it's not yet approved for kids age 5 and under. 

"Yes, he still drinks breast milk. Yes, I am still vaccinated and boosted, so he gets some immunity from me, but he’s not completely protected," she said. 

Melanie said she cried when Pfizer's request for emergency use authorization for the vaccine in young children was put on hold back in February because the FDA wanted to see more data. Thursday morning, hope was restored in Melanie after Moderna submitted its request for approval.

"I almost started crying of happiness so here’s hoping. I've been vaccinated with Pfizer but I trust Moderna as well," Melanie said, "If they have a vaccine for my kid, as soon as it's approved I'm calling up my pediatrician and saying, 'Can I please get my child in there?'"

Leaders with Moderna said the data looks favorable.

"What the data shows is that there was good antibody response to the COVID-19 vaccine in those studies," said Dr. DeAnne Brooks, the Chief Pharmacy Officer with Cone Health.

Dr. Books said the study included a total of about 6,700 children, with 2,500 in the 6-month to the 24-month range and then 4,200 in the 2-5-year-old range.

"What is different between the Moderna and Pfizer studies is with the Pfizer studies they didn’t show as strong of a response in a certain age group so they were asked to go back and look at what would happen with a third booster, so Pfizer is hoping to submit that data sometime in May," said Dr. Brooks. 

Brooks said it's important to speak with your child's pediatrician if you're looking for ways to protect your young child. She said masks and being up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19 are great ways to keep family members safe. 

"We certainly all did have our hopes up before, but we do know that this is missing in terms of what we have to vaccinate COVID-19 so I think we’re all hopeful," said Dr. Brooks. 

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