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Omaha clinic one of few in Midwest chosen for Moderna vaccine trial for children

Trial includes children 6 months to 12 years
Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 19:20:33-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A locally-owned research clinic in Omaha is one of the few in the Midwest to be chosen to participate in the nationwide Moderna vaccine trial. The trial will look at the vaccine's effect on children 6 months to 12 years old.

Quality Clinic Research in Omaha was part of the adult Pfizer trials back in 2020. After a successful run, the clinic was chosen to participate in the Moderna trial for kids.

CEO Seneca Harrison says he is honored to research how the vaccine affects the remaining population without COVID-19 vaccine availability.

"Developing this vaccine and getting it approved for this age group is just the final straw of dealing with COVID," Harrison said.

The trial began Wednesday and will continue vaccinating patients until mid-May. The patients will then be periodically observed for the next two years. Parents will keep a daily diary on their child's condition after the vaccination and will be required to come in for seven checkups during the trial.

Despite the requirements, the interest is extremely high and Harrison says there's already a long waiting list.

"We have people from Minneapolis, we have people from Denver, Chicago, because right now we are one of the only locations in the Midwest," he said.

Seven-year-old Jamal Larson is participating in the trial and was seen by researchers Thursday. As he excitedly ran around the room saying how excited he was to 'save the world', for his mother Tess Larson it was more of an emotional experience.

“He will be the last kiddo in the immediate family to get it. We’ll all be vaccinated and we’ll all just be that much closer to normal," she said.

The goal of the trial is to find the perfect dose for children of all ethnicities and of all types of body types.

"We want to make sure this vaccine works for everyone," Harrison said.

6,000 children will be involved in the trial nationwide and a few hundred at Quality Clinical Research. Early results of the trial could be available as soon as this fall.

"Our information will be submitted live as we continue to vaccinate kids and the FDA will start looking at this data as it comes in. Hopefully, by the end of this year we'll have a vaccine approved for kids this age group," Harrison said.

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