15-year-old Jack Elgin participates in a Moderna vaccine trial for adolescents
Chris Holmstrom: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Chris Holmstrom
Sarah Donchey: Hello, I'm Sarah Donchey. There is a lot of talk about when children can be vaccinated for covid-19. Trials are now recruiting to make sure it's safe.
Chris Holmstrom: Tonight, KCAL 9's Pat Harvey introduces us to a Calabasas teen participating in Moderna trials for adolescents.
Pat Harvey: A blood draw, a comprehensive physical, a needle poke. Then, three weeks later, another one.
Jack Elginer: It is an experience that I will tell my kids and my grandkids.
Pat Harvey: 15-year-old Jack Elginer of Calabasas is reflecting on his role in the fight against covid-19.
Jack Elginer: Do not know if I got the real thing.
Pat Harvey: Jack is a research volunteer in the adolescent trial of the Moderna vaccine.
Jack Elginer: Someone had a hypothesis, and we're part of the people that went and tested it.
Pat Harvey: In December, the FDA granted an emergency use authorization, allowing Moderna to offer its covid-19 vaccine to adults.
Julie Elginer: It dawned on me, next is going to be in the adolescent population.
Pat Harvey: Julie Elginer is a professor in UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health. Compared to adults --
Julie Elginer: We know that pediatric patients respond differently to therapies.
Pat Harvey: Professor Elginer is also Jack's mom.
Julie Elginer: I'm a mom first before I'm a public health professional.
Pat Harvey: And as a mom --
Julie Elginer: My biggest concern is making sure that my kids are protected. And the best way that the kids are protected is through immunity. And that will come primarily through the vaccines.
Pat Harvey: The fastest way to get vaccinated before FDA authorization? Sign up for a trial.
Julie Elginer: It is a commitment.
Pat Harvey: The closest facility testing the Moderna vaccine in children and teens is in Banning, a two hour drive each way, plus, 3 hour visits.
Volunteers aren't told whether they're getting the vaccine or a placebo.
After shot number one --
Jack Elginer: I didn't really have any symptoms.
Pat Harvey: But three weeks later, after shot number two --
Jack Elginer: I had a fever of above 102.
Pat Harvey: A possible clue as to whether or not he received the real deal.
Julie Elginer: I have a speculation.
Pat Harvey: Two days later, the fever was gone, and Jack was back in action.
Jack Elginer: 100% worth it.
Pat Harvey: Researchers will continue to gather data from kids like Jack for the next 12 months to establish dosing, safety, and efficacy.
Jack is grateful for the chance to help out.
Jack Elginer: This is a very important time in our global health, and I was a part of this thing that will go in the history books later.
Pat Harvey: Pat Harvey, KCAL 9 News.
Chris Holmstrom: And we have more information on southern California clinical trials for children on our website CBSLA.COM