With Dr. Craig Erickson

Should everyone receive the vaccine? Dr. Craig Erickson, director of the Cincinnati Fragile X Research and Treatment Center at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and discusses why it’s safe, including for individuals with Fragile X, and why everyone should plan to get vaccinated as soon as it’s available for you.

His short video is below, along with a transcript. Since recording the video, Dr. Erickson has already answered a couple of other questions you’ve raised:

  • Is the mRNA of the vaccine and the elevated mRNA in premutation carriers affect the other?
    No, one does not affect the other. The contents of the COVID vaccines have no known scientific reason or any scientific theory to support the vaccines impacting Fragile X carriers in a negative way due to carriers potentially having any mRNA abnormalities specific to the Fragile X gene.
  • Does a COVID vaccine impact the protein of people with the Fragile X full mutation?
    No, there is no scientific reason why COVID vaccination would have any impact on Fragile X protein expression in persons with the Fragile X full mutation.

We also have:

  • A dedicated COVID-19 resource page to help navigate Fragile X during this time.
    COVID-19 Resources for Fragile X Families
  • Jayne Dixon Weber is available to answer your questions or to make suggestions for additional resources.
    Email Jayne
  • Dr. Erickson set up an email address specifically for asking about the vaccine (please limit to questions about the vaccine).
    Email Your Vaccine Questions

Video Transcript

This is Dr. Craig Erickson. I’m the director here at the Cincinnati Fragile X Research and Treatment Center, and I’m speaking with you today to encourage you and your family to get the COVID vaccination when vaccines become available to you.

Within the last week, I had the opportunity given to me by the Indiana Department of Health, where I’ve had a medical license for many years, to get my COVID vaccination.

Dr. Erickson at a gymnasium in Indiana receiving his first COVID-19 vaccination from a nurse.

This photo is of me getting my first shot, my first COVID vaccine shot in an auditorium on the basketball court in Versailles, Indiana. I quickly took the state of Indiana up on their timely offer and drove there and got this done. I was lucky to have this opportunity. And I’m hopeful that the patients we serve in the broad Fragile X community will soon have the same opportunity and take it.

At this time the Moderna vaccine in the United States is approved down to age 18, and the Pfizer vaccine down to age 16. My wife’s a primary care physician at the University of Cincinnati, she received her Moderna COVID vaccine a week before I received my Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer or Moderna — it does not matter, get whatever vaccine you can as soon as you can get it. And remember as of now the age approvals are down to 18 or 16, depending on the vaccine.

It’s important to realize that there’s variation around the country in the United States in the COVID vaccine rollout, and I think the best thing to do is to Google the name of your state and “COVID vaccine” and read up on distribution in your area. I think, by and large … primary care doctors, our office at the Fragile X Center, we don’t really have a prospect of giving the COVID vaccine to patients in the near term. County and/or state health departments are handling the distribution and again, there are differences from state to state, so really read up on it. And then you can be an advocate for your child and yourself whenever available to get vaccinated.

This is a photo of where I was lucky enough to get my vaccine at the Taylor Auditorium in Versailles, Indiana. I show this because you know the face of modern medicine, the face of the great scientific breakthrough that are the COVID vaccines, is really coming to communities all over the country. And it may be at an auditorium, a basketball court, a hospital, or a community center. This is a great effort in our country right now, and it’s very important.

We really consider the vaccine development for COVID-19 as a major medical accomplishment. You know we do a lot of science in our Fragile X center. We know what good science is. The vaccination programs are excellent science. The vaccine rollout is extremely important. And whether you’ve had COVID or not, get vaccinated in alignment with CDC guidelines for getting vaccinated.

We know that people with developmental disorders are at increased risk of severe outcomes with COVID. We’ve had several of our clinic patients at the Cincinnati Fragile X center hospitalized with COVID issues. Luckily we haven’t had any deaths yet. And now’s the time really to make the decision to embrace the chance to get the vaccine when it’s available to you.

I’ve set up an email related to this — neurodevelopmental@gmail.com — that I will check. If you have any questions or you want to go over issues related to COVID vaccination. I’m taking this step to produce this recording because I really believe in the importance of this science and want folks to follow with me, and taking this opportunity to get vaccinated when it’s available to you.

Thank you.

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Dr. Craig Erickson headshot

Craig Erickson, MD
Dr. Craig Erickson is an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, and the director of the Fragile X Syndrome Research and Treatment Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He is considered an international expert in the clinical treatment of Fragile X syndrome and has similar expertise in Fragile X-specific clinical trial development. He is currently the chair of the Clinical Trials Committee of the Fragile X Clinical and Research Consortium (FXCRC).

Dr. Erickson has worked to obtain continuous federal, foundational, internal, and industry funding supporting his and his collaborators’ research over the last decade. He is the inventor or co-inventor of many patents focused on translational treatment development in neurodevelopmental disorders through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and previously the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Erickson is also an avid teacher of future generations of child psychiatrists and has received several teaching awards for his work.

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