Moderna Starting COVID-19 Vaccine Trials for Adolescents

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Moderna is looking for some 3,000 adolescents to volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine trial… and already young people are eager to take part.

A research company in Austin will begin its trial next week and Danielle Collins’ 12-year-old Michael is ready.

“He’s the child of a healthcare provider and he hears the stories, and he understands the burden and I think he’s anxious to get past this as well,” said Collins.

Pediatrician Angela Moemeka said adolescents are not typically among the most serious cases of COVID-19, but they are critical because they can transmit the virus.

“When we start to think about herd immunity, and we know that 25% of the population is children, we know that it’s important to be part of vaccine trials and to be part of what we’re trying to accomplish with mass vaccinations,” said Moemeka.

Pfizer has already closed recruitment for its adolescent trials. With Moderna just getting started, she said we’re looking at the year 2022 as a strong potential for having definitive answers.

“We really want to make sure that the benefit to this child is as high as possible because they do have mild disease,” said Moemeka. “So that’s the reason why it’s taken a little while longer because we want to make sure they’re as safe as they can be and the stringent studies done in adult, even doing something equivalent and more for children as we move forward.”

Moemeka said there not indicators right now that would point to the vaccine being unsafe for children. That’s what the trials are for, and only time will tell.

Collins said, as a healthcare worker, she felt a weight lifted when she got the vaccine… and hope her son Michael will soon feel that same sense of comfort.

“It was such a relief of a burden that I knew was heavy,” said Collins. “But I didn’t know how heavy until I received that vaccine and started to feel a little more confident that I’m going to make it through this alright.”

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