Brothers participate in local vaccine trial for kids

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Brothers, 11 and 10, describe going through Moderna trial
With the fight against COVID shifting focus to younger Americans, Houston's Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's are teaming up for trials on children 12 and younger. Two kids who were part of the trial spoke to ABC13 about the experience.

Baylor College of Medicine is involved in two COVID-19 vaccine trials for kids. One is for Moderna, the other is for Pfizer.

So far about 20 kids have enrolled in the Moderna trial, including two brother, Aleksander and Desmond.

11-year-old Aleksander and his 10-year-old brother, Desmond, do a lot together, that now includes participating in a vaccine trial.

"We're pretty competitive so we were discussing who would get to go first," said Aleksander Chin, participating in vaccine trial.

The two got their first dose two weeks ago.

"Personally, it did hurt a bit but I could stand the pain," said Desmond Chen, participating in vaccine trial.

Both said they had pain at the injection site but no other side effects. They've been doing well since.

Their mother, Sahel Chen, also participated in the Moderna trial for adults.

"We are a very, very pro-vax family. I lost my hearing to measles when I was a kid. I wasn't vaccinated and it's something I've carried my whole life and my boys have heard that story growing up. They've got their flu shots every year," said Sahel Chen, the boys' mother.

So far 20 kids 11 and younger have signed up for the Moderna trial at Baylor College of Medicine. Enrollment continues through the fall. There's several things researchers are studying. One is the dose.

"We can't just shrink the dose and say that's going to work. We always like to say that children are not little adults," said Dr. Erin Nicholson, instructor of molecular virology and microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine.

They're also examining side effects in children.

"Their bodies are different. Their bodies respond differently and so we have to monitor that very closely," said Dr. Nicholson.

Researchers are evaluating the vaccines safety and efficacy too. Pfizer anticipates having results for its phase 2-3 trials by September for kids 5 to 11. As for Aleksander and Desmond, they're excited to be helping others.

"I'm excited that were doing something for history, something that's going to be important," said Desmond.

"I'm going to be one of the first people, one of the first kids to get the Moderna vaccine and set an example for everybody to get it," said Aleksander.