RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)— Virginia’s first and only site to offer the Moderna vaccine trial for kids is set to begin in a few weeks. Clinical Research Partners on Forest Avenue is asking for 500 children to participate in the study beginning April 1.
Children ages 6 months to 12 years old will be eligible to receive the vaccine during the trial.
Participants will be compensated.
Dr. Richard Bennett, primary investigator of clinical research, said the trial will test the efficacy of the Moderna vaccine in children.
“I think children get left behind a little bit because they weren’t showing the signs of [COVID-19] symptoms at the same rate, frequency as adults,” he said.
He said children will probably see some of the same side effects of the vaccine as adults like soreness at the injection site and fatigue.
Deitra Saunders, a participant in Clinical Research Partners’ AstraZeneca trial, said this could be another stepping stone to get rid of the coronavirus.
“I think it’s a good idea to find out if it’ll affect them in ways that it’ll affect the adults,” she said.
Saunders and her mother are both participants in the trial and encourage anyone to come out and register for the study.
Bennett also said the kids will receive two doses of the vaccine but the amounts will vary depending on the child’s age.
For example, children 6 months to 3 years old will receive 0.25 doses of the vaccine, 4 to 8 years old will receive 0.50 doses and 9 to 12 years old will receive 0.75 doses.
“Vaccinations are the cornerstone of preventing a mess,” he said.
For the trial to be successful, the Moderna vaccine would have to show 75% effectiveness in children.
Bennett is confident they will see 95-98% efficacy by the end of the trial. He said he wants to vaccinate as many kids as possible to safely reopen schools and have after-school activities restart with protection.
One of his goals is to achieve herd immunity.
“We want to vaccinate what I consider one of the most vulnerable populations out there children,” he said. “Where they don’t get [Covid-19] as often but if they do get it, it could be devastating.”