RICHMOND, Va. -- The three daughters of the reigning Dr. United States of America are taking part in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials for teenagers and children.
A year into the pandemic, Dr. Michelle Lynam recalled that her thoughts early on about COVID-19 have since turned into reality.
“I think this is, this is going to be bad,” Dr. Lynam said. “I think it's going to spread around the world.”
Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Lynam has done what she can to fight the virus, beyond her work as an anesthesiologist in Midlothian.
In fact, as the reigning Dr. United States of America, Dr. Lynam has posted educational videos on her social media accounts. She has also taken part in the Pfizer vaccine clinical trial.
“I wanted to lead by example. I believe in science,” she explained. “I also wanted to protect my mom who lives with us. She's 83 and she helps care for our children.”
Since then, Dr. Lynam’s two teen daughters have taken part in Pfizer trials for their respective age groups.
“I thought it would be like helpful,” Gabriella said. “If I just like, join the vaccine trial, try to like save some lives.”
Like her mom, the 15-year-old said she had some nervousness before getting the shot.
“I didn't know like, what to expect,” she said. “I've never done this before and then it was just kind of smooth sailing.”
Unlike her mom and older sister, who've since found out they got the vaccine and not a placebo, Gabriella’s trial is still blinded.
“My arm hurt for a little bit,” she said. “So I'm hoping that I got the vaccine, but if I didn't, it's so good to be part of this trial.”
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And soon joining those three will be six-year-old, Valentina, who Dr. Lynam said is enrolled in the Moderna trial underway for six months to 12 year olds. She is scheduled to receive her first shot in early April.
“I did speak to some of them,” Dr. Lynam said. “And as you can imagine, I asked them a barrage of questions.”
Valentina said she is a little nervous, but said she is ready for the pandemic to be over and to get back to what she misses most: her friends at school.
Those are similar feelings from Dr. Lynam and Gabriella.
“It's good to have like my whole entire family pitching in,” Gabriella said.
Dr. Lynam said she is “looking forward to just the infections calming down and us getting back to life.”
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.