Teenagers could be compensated for vaccine trial in Houston

Friday, January 1, 2021
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for teenagers?
Health care officials said allowing kids to participate in trials may be the quickest way protect them against the virus.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The rollout of vaccines has been focused on adults, but children may soon be eligible, and they could also receive compensation.

Health care officials said that Moderna vaccine trials for adolescents ages 12 to 17 are currently underway. One trial is located in Houston.

"We're very, very pumped and very excited to be one of those 20 centers," said recruitment lead for clinical research at the Texas Center for Drug Development Dr. Sarah Hasan.

The trial is being conducted at CyFair Clinical Research Center. The teens in the trial are under supervision by doctors during the study.

The research center is part of the organization's "Houston Fights COVID" initiative.

Officials are looking to get 200 participants for these particular trials, but they're encouraging participation and hope more adolescents will join in the future.

"We're just looking for a healthy kid. Honestly, if you are planning to get vaccinated at your local pharmacy, we don't even know when that would be for these kids," said Hasan. "The better method to be able to get protection for your child is to be a part of this clinical trial."

Doctors say there's a two-to-one ratio on who gets the vaccine versus who gets the placebo. They also have more trials for adults too.

Another benefit to the trial is once the adolescent trial data is available, researchers can begin to study the vaccine on children younger than 12.

"We want our kids to try to go back to school. I know the beginning of the next school year is kind of the goal," said Hasan. "If your child is protected, not only is that kid protected but the teachers are protected, their friends are protected, families are protected."

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