PHOENIX — Drug maker Moderna is the first of the three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. to launch a trial testing the vaccine's efficacy and safety on children between the ages of six months and less than 12 years old.
The study is a collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
Phoenix is one of eight test sites in the U.S. and has started enrolling participants.
“The idea he can have that extra layer of protection is really important to me,” said Valley nurse and mother of three Rachel Guthrie.
“I’m a big fan in vaccinations just in the fact that it helps protect our community as well for those who can’t be vaccinated for various reasons," Guthrie continued.
"Whether they haven’t had the opportunity or are immune compromised and they cannot get a vaccination. It’s important for us whether we interact with people daily to have that protection and have a herd immunity.”
Guthrie is enrolling two of her three children into the trial.
The company is enrolling nearly 7,000 children. Dr. Steve Plimpton is an OBGYN and the principal investigator for the trial in Phoenix.
“In essence, it’s for the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine for this age group but it has other tangents that will benefit as well because of the other people around those children,” said Plimpton.
The trial has peaked national interest and Plimpton has received calls from parents in California willing to travel over state lines to participate. Some families are even willing to travel from as far as Georgia.
“The kids will get blood work done at the initial visit, then get the vaccine. Then get the second vaccine just like normal Moderna,” said Plimpton.
"Different doses, different regiments for the kids so we can find which works best because we anticipate the kids won't need the dose an adult does. There is no harm in that because it won’t cause over-reactivity in a child at those doses."
Arizona has recently reached a milestone, fully vaccinating 1 million adults.
“We are going to get these kids vaccinated that will take another segment out of our community that will potentially unknowingly spread the virus. We are going to get our numbers quickly and safe lives,” said Plimpton.
Guthrie encourages any parent with questions regarding their children receiving the vaccine the ask their physicians questions.
“Make an intelligent decision for yourself. Just don’t ask Dr. Google,” said Guthrie.
If you'd like to participate in the trial, contact MedPharmics at 602-368-1928 or Dr. Steve Plimpton 602-241-1717.
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