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Clinical coordinator and mother talks about overseeing COVID vaccine trial

Plus, how to see if your child qualifies to participate
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 4:16 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - New information has been released regarding how to find out if your children as young as six months qualify for a clinical trial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

We have seen pediatric cases of COVID-19 rising and thousands of students quarantined.

At a building along Forest Avenue in Henrico, a team is working to get the Moderna vaccine ready for kids.

Leading that team on the floor of Clinical Research Partners is Clinical Coordinator, Nikisha Edwards. As a mom of five kids - one, three, five, thirteen and fourteen - she manages virtual schooling and quarantine, alongside millions of other parents.

“Oh, the worse part has been sending my kids back to school this year unvaccinated,” said Edwards.

Nikisha gets the struggle; she is also at the heart of the vaccine race, working towards that shot. Passionately caring for dozens of kids right here in central Virginia, testing Moderna vaccines as part of a clinical trial.

“They like my babies!” said Nikisha of her clients.

“How are they doing?” Sarah Bloom asked her.

“Everybody’s doing good. Everybody’s fine,” reiterated Nikisha. “Really good. No allergic reactions. I mean, nothing serious. So far, everybody’s just flu-like symptoms. Nothing. Nothing serious all the way expected to happen.”

Nikisha is the one that makes sure each child gets physicals and blood work, checking for increased antibodies. She takes texts, calls and emails from participating families, and an app checks in to monitor symptoms every night.

“Every night at 6 p.m. it’ll ask you to check the child’s temperature,” Nikisha explained. “They want to know any medication taken. They want to know - they want to know everything.”

Phase one of the Moderna trial on children ages 5-12 is complete.

Phase two is underway, which includes some placebo doses. The most notable thing Nikisha has seen is some children with a rash at the injection site.

“Do you think a little bit about the role you’re playing in history?” Sarah Bloom asks.

“Yes, I do. I do. And when I hear the parents say ‘hey, thank you, guys, thank you so much for all you do.’ I think that’s what...that’s the part that gets me.” Edwards said.

There is already a waiting list to get into the next trial, which will be for children 6 months to 5 years old.

There is also a study for Regeneron - for immunocompromised kids, which would give the child manmade antibodies, versus vaccines that encourage the body to create its own.

Here’s an important note for parents:

If you get into this trial, and another vaccine company like Pfizer comes out with an approved vaccine for kids in that same age group, you might have to wait for that trial to be further along before your child can get a vaccine.

All of that said, one of the benefits of a trial like this is you’re going to get one-on-one monitoring for your child for an entire year. For some parents, that’s an added peace of mind.

For more information on how to sign up for the clinical trial, click here.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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