Shaker Heights teen signs up for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine


CLEVELAND — Shaker Heights 7th grader Josie Bullock is on a mission to help put the pandemic behind us. Bullock says she feels it is her duty to take part in the Pfizer vaccine trial for children ages 12-15 to continue the fight against the coronavirus.

“I wanted to make the world a better place,” said Bullock. “My mom showed it to me so I said you know, why not? Because I want to help the world, I want to help rebuild because I want to be able to see my friends again and everybody wants to be able to go back to normal.”

Bullock says she misses her friends dearly and she’s eager to be part of the vaccine trial in Cleveland.

“I just want to hug somebody, I just want to get a hug and I can’t because you know, I have to stay six feet apart from people. Like, we can’t even hold hands, we can’t even touch each other. I just want to hug somebody that’s not like no offense it’s not part of my immediate family.”

Bullock’s mother, Cathy Kilbane says her daughter was very enthusiastic about participating.

“As a parent I felt nervous about it because it’s like every parenting decision you make, it’s a risk balancing but we’ve been with Dr. Senders practice for 10 years so we felt very comfortable,” said Kilbane.

The family learned about the trial through Dr. Shelly Senders, Founder and CEO at Senders Pediatrics

“We have been doing vaccine studies in children for the last 20 years. In fact we’ve been involved in close to 200 clinical trials almost every vaccine that is licensed now for children has actually gone through our office over the last 20 years. When the covid studies began, we have lots of contacts with Pfizer,” said Dr. Senders. “What’s really different about this trial as opposed to any of the other 200 trials that we’ve been involved in is that it is a 24/7 monitoring trial.”

Dr. Senders says he has several young patients who say they want to make a difference.

“I am actually more inspired than you are. and if I get a little teary it’s because I had one kid say to me a couple of days ago [that] he can’t vote because he’s only 15 and he wants to make a difference. This is his way of making a difference,” said Dr. Senders. “I’ve heard over and over again from kids who say we need to get back to school and if this is one of the ways to get us back to school that’s great. Who would ever have thought that teenagers would say I want to go to school?”

As of now there is a 50 percent chance that Josie gets the vaccine, her first dose is scheduled for December 23rd.

“I just feel like…I feel like I’m doing what I should be doing to help the world get to a better place so I just really don’t think much of it because I feel like it’s a given for me to be able to help everybody.”

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Marya Vinget

Marya Vinget is a freelance writer who works for may content writing agencies and for personal blog owners. She loves to write about everything from Tech to entertainment, You can hire her for the versatile writing attitude.