Moderna is beginning a COVID-19 vaccine trial aimed at children this week.
One Valley doctor's office is already getting inundated with phone calls from parents who want their children to get the shot.
“Even this morning when I got here, they’re on the phones, hang up, another call, hang up, another call,” said Dr. Steve Plimpton, the principal investigator for the Moderna study in Arizona. “Even people who don’t live here, we’ve had calls from Georgia, calls from Tucson who want to drive up and get their kids vaccinated.”
Seven hundred and fifty children who are six months to 12 years old will be enrolled in the trial across the nation. Where this differs from previous studies is that this first group will know they’re getting the vaccine.
“The first 750 kids are in what’s called an open-label study. They’re going to get the Moderna vaccine, the two shots, the same doses all of us get. The study part of it is watching the kids afterward including blood tests for the kids,” said Dr. Plimpton. "We expect to see some of the same side effects we saw in adults, some will get chills, fevers, sore arms but it should all subside in a few days. However, we already know this is going to be very safe for children."
If all goes the plan, the study will eventually expand to a group of 6,000 kids, half of which will receive the vaccine and the other a placebo. So far, Dr. Plimpton says most parents aren’t concerned about the safety of the vaccine but more focused on the benefits of their child being protected from the virus.
“Not only will their children be the first 750 to be given that protection, especially with kids going back to school, it’s going to be a great boon because we consider, not in a derogatory sense, we consider kids vectors,” said Dr. Plimpton.
He says not only is the vaccine protecting the kids but other folks who may not have gotten the vaccine quite yet. The study is expected to go on for the next few months, after which, the data will be submitted to the FDA for final approval for emergency use in all children within that age group.
If you are interested in signing up for the vaccine or want to learn more about it, call 602-368-1928 or 602-241-1717