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Sen. Marshall: Advancing T-cell tests could help parents make better decisions for vaccinating children

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Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 11:34 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Roger Marshall says advancing T-cell tests could help parents make a better and more informed decision on whether or not to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19.

In an opinion piece for The Hill, Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says COVID-19 immune response research is important, as well as the role of T-cell tests in a parent’s decision to get their child vaccinated.

“We need to prioritize vaccine-acquired and infection-acquired immune response research to understand the who, what, when, where, how, and why for future vaccination efforts, including clinical appropriateness. In doing so, federal agencies need to take a deeper dive into T-cells (and B-cells) as they play an essential role in reducing the severity of symptoms and help prevent infection,” said Sen. Marshall. “The clock is ticking as parents inch closer to the fall semester and return their children to the classroom. Every parent and physician I’ve talked to has told me if they knew their patient or child’s level of immune response, it would make sense to amend the standard on dosing and administration to meet clinical appropriateness. This would impact their benefits versus risk model. From what I’ve heard on how states and stakeholders are debating what to require and what not to require for its K-12 schools, we need real answers and the precision that comes from it. We can go beyond our narrow understanding of COVID-19 immunity. HHS agencies need to better prioritize and collaborate efforts to develop what our next steps should really be for the short and long term, and natural immunity should be considered part of the equation. And thanks to Congress, they certainly have the resources to pull it off.”

According to Sen. Marshall, some concerns over COVID-19 are not based on misinformation, but a lack of complete information instead. He said parents are worried about vaccinating their children due to the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis. He said he empathizes with parents and the weight of their decision.

Sen. Marshall said it is known that children and young adults have statistically lower rates of hospitalization and usually have mild symptoms of COVID-19, but could still spread the virus. He said while there are several vaccines only available under Emergency Use Authorizations, the vaccine is just an educated guess based on other coronaviruses and emerging research. He said we are all flying a little blind here, which is why the research is important for parents to make decisions on vaccinating their children.

To read the full op-ed from Senator Marshall for The Hill, click HERE.

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