Plano Teen Participates In COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

COVID-19 vaccine trials for both Pfizer and Moderna include testing adolescent and children to make sure it is safe for all ages.

Video Transcript

- Researchers across the United States are recruiting children in the fight against coronavirus now. They're testing COVID-19 vaccine on adolescents and young children to make sure ultimately, it is safe for all ages. We spoke to a 12-year-old today who says he's being honored to be one of the participants, his words. Brooke Katz with that story, all new at 6 o'clock.

BROOKE KATZ: Paving the path for his peers, 13-year-old Oliver Geheb is a history buff and a swimmer, and is eager to volunteer in the fight against the virus.

OLIVER GEHEB: I really wanted to be able to think back on this time where the world was struggling with a virus, and be able to say, even though maybe my one test result doesn't make that much of a difference, I still helped. And tried and tried to do something about it.

BROOKE KATZ: He's part of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trial on adolescents 12 years and up at ACRC Trials in Plano. He received his second shot today.

OLIVER GEHEB: I feel perfectly fine right now.

BROOKE KATZ: Mom Sarah, a former nurse, knows every bit will help in the fight.

SARAH KISSEL: I think that the only way we're going to put this behind us is if we have enough people to be vaccinated. That includes adolescents and children. We know from the research that adolescents can spread.

BROOKE KATZ: Starting next week, Moderna plans to launch a trial for children as young as six months to 11 years.

HEEMA MARWAH: That's just how clinical trials work in general. You know, they'll start from adults, adolescent and then pediatric.

BROOKE KATZ: Heema Marwah is the clinical director at ACRC Trials. She says the trials have heavy emphasis on safety. Nurses and medical professionals monitor the subjects for a full year as part of it.

HEEMA MARWAH: I would say approximately 25% of the US population is less than 18 years of age. And if we want to achieve herd immunity, we're going to have to include children and make sure that they're vaccinated. Because there's no other way, I would think, to get to that point.

BROOKE KATZ: Oliver has one more reason to be here. It's for someone he knew well, a school crossing guard, who lost his battle to COVID this winter.

OLIVER GEHEB: It was very heartbreaking. And he never even got the chance to have the vaccine. So I think it's very important that we get everyone else to have the vaccine so less people like him die.

BROOKE KATZ: Brooke Katz, CBS 11 News.

- Pfizer's clinical trial on children began just this week, vaccinating nine-year-old twins in North Carolina. Both Moderna and Pfizer expect to release their results of their adolescent trials a little bit later on this year.