COVID-19 vaccine trial for kids ages 2-11 underway; researchers looking for minorities to participate

Child getting vaccine
Child getting vaccine(Storyblocks)
Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A COVID-19 vaccine trial for kids younger than 12 just kicked off in the Omaha-metro.

It’s one of the last groups to be studied and one of the final steps towards vaccines for all.

Iesha Bradley is a mom of two, and COVID-19 has been top of mind for her as she navigates the pandemic with two little ones.

“They are not within the age group to get the vaccine,” she said.

Right now, there are trials going on in the metro for kids between the ages of 2 and 11.

But Bradley said she wouldn’t rush to put her children in those studies.

“You really don’t know. Like if they get a symptom or if something happens they can’t really explain it to where we understand it, you know?”

Seneca Harrison, CEO of Quality Clinical Research, is overseeing a Moderna vaccine trial that just started this week for kids 2 thru 11.

He said he’s seeing a lot of those same questions from his parents.

“There’s a lot of parents that are like hey are the side effects known? And that’s what we are working on as a research study. We want to know,” Harrison said.

So far, he said, the symptoms are matching up to what adults experience: soreness of the arm, low-grade fevers, and body chills.

He said the biggest hesitancy is coming from minority families. Right now, most of the children involved in the study are white, but Harrison said it’s critical to get children of all races involved in this study.

“We really need to make sure this vaccine will work in everyone. Different races have different body makeups, different diets, different exercise regimens so we want to make sure this vaccine really works for everyone.”

Harrison said these trials will end up benefitting everyone in the long run.

Parents like Bradley say they know the trials are important but that they will wait until it’s authorized by the FDA.

“It does have to happen in order to see if the vaccine works, if it’s effective but yeah, I wouldn’t agree with the younger kids being trials,” Bradley said.

Harrison said he’s hopeful vaccines will be approved for those under the age of 12 by the end of the year.

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