PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swenson family of five became six with hours of togetherness. "We would go on lots of walks, and we went swimming a lot," said mom Ashton Swenson.
With a 6-month-old at home and kids back to in-person learning, Swenson jumped at the chance for her 9-year-old daughter, Phoebe, and 6-year-old son, Arlo, to be part of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials. "We believe in the science of vaccines, and we think it's really important to provide that safety net for everybody so we can go about our lives," Swenson said.
The kids got their second doses this week and their only side effects for both doses were a sore arm. "I can tell you as a mother, as well as a pediatrician, as soon as it's available for my children, I plan on getting them vaccinated," said Dr. Anne Maiden. She's the vice-chair of pediatrics at Midwestern University and a pediatrician in the Valley. She says children under 18 make up about 20% of the population. To reach herd immunity, 70 to 80% of Americans need to be vaccinated.
"Pfizer had amazing results," Dr. Maiden said. "I believe it was around 100% effectiveness for ages 12 and above. And right now, Moderna and Pfizer are doing trials for ages 6 months to 11 years."
Meantime Ashton says it's exciting to be part of the solution and a huge weight is lifted knowing two of her kids have protection. "The peace of mind that I have with it is really comforting," she said. The Swensons are looking forward to seeing family who live out of state, traveling and more when life goes back to "normal."