Houston mom, teen son taking part in COVID-19 vaccine trial

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Jack Dyment is part of just a small number of 13-year-olds in our country who are participating in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial for adolescents.

He said he feels "pretty special."

Jack said he's participating because he wants people to know the vaccine is safe.

"It's important so that we can stop the spreading of COVID-19 and go back to normal," said Jack.

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Moderna recently started trials for adolescents at a limited number of sites. Currently, teens younger than 16 can't get the vaccine unless they're in a trial, and even then they could get the placebo. It's a two to one ratio of vaccine to placebo.

Jack's mother, Leeanne Dyment, supports the trial so much, she's participating in a different trial herself. She's part of the Novavax study and just got her first dose last week.

"We just believe in science and I vaccinate my kids, and we just really want to do what we can to protect those around us, protect ourselves, and this is the best option that we saw," said Leeanne.

According to a survey released last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 71% of people said they would definitely or probably get the vaccine if it's deemed safe and it's free. That's up from 63% in September.

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Recruitment lead for DM Clinical Research and Texas Center for Drug Development Dr. Sarah Hasan says months and months in, people are really seeing the effects of COVID-19. Hasan is with the organization behind Houston Fights COVID, which is part of a number of upcoming and continuing vaccine trials.

"Concerns were understandable at the beginning. 'Should I join this trial?' 'Should I not join the trial?' 'What will the side effects be?' 'What's going to happen to me?' I think the unknown of how bad the virus is, as well, we didn't know that before either," said Hasan.

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The Houston Fights COVID-19 organization has a number of trials coming up for adults and adolescents.

"I'm incredibly proud of him. I mean, I think it's huge and I think it's a moment in history right now and for him to look back and reflect on, he was part the solution in saving lives just by participating," said Dyment.

Side effects for adults in the Moderna trial include headache, fever, fatigue and muscle and joint pain.

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