Researchers looking for Houston area participants to take part in vaccine trial on children

HOUSTON – Researchers are now looking for younger people in the Houston area, including teenagers, to take part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial.

“We’re really just looking for generally healthy kids that are able to receive vaccinations and that are able to come in for study visits,” said Sarah Hasan, recruitment lead at DM Clinical Research and the Texas Center for Drug Development.

The study of the Moderna vaccine needs participants between the ages of 12 and 17, she said.

“We’re just trying to get these kids back in school so they’re able to get back in sports, academics, extracurricular activities,” Hasan said. “In order to even get to that semi-normal state, the real solution is just to get this vaccine.”

So far, the Moderna vaccine has emergency approval for people ages 18 and older.

The trial for teenagers is taking place locally at the CyFair Clinical Research Center off FM-1960 in Northwest Harris County.

Parents need to sign off and the process includes six visits over a 13-month period. Participants can earn up to $1,000.

“This is actually a faster and safer way actually for the kids to get protected because not only are they getting the vaccine from us, but they’re followed with the investigator throughout the duration of the study as well,” Hasan said.

The ratio of vaccine to placebo is two-to-one in this trial, so Hasan said there’s a better chance of getting the actual vaccine.

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