Duke Health part of clinical trial testing COVID-19 vaccine in children

Duke Health is one of several sites across the country involved in a clinical trial testing the COVID-19 vaccine on children.

The trial is testing the safety and effectiveness of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on 2,000 children across the country between the ages of 12 and 15.

Sophie Holland is one of about 100 children enrolled in the study through Duke.

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The 12-year-old doesn't know if she got the vaccine or a placebo used for the study. But she said she got side effects after the second dose so she believes she got the vaccine.

"Like 10 to 12 hours after I got it, I had chills and then I had a fever the next day," Holland said. "But it wasn't too bad. It only lasted a couple days and then it was all over."

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Holland's father, Thomas, is an infectious disease doctor at Duke.

"I think the mRNA vaccines have been proven to be very, very safe across millions and millions of doses in adults," Dr. Holland said. "So I felt really good about the likely safety profile in her age range as well."

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"I feel happy to be contributing to all the science and stuff and when I first heard about it, I understood that it could be risky because we didn't know much about how it affects kids, but I realized that what we need to do to learn about that, is participate in the trial," Sophie Holland said.

Holland gets blood drawn and nose swabs every few weeks as part of the trial.

"That's all stuff that I'm proud of her for and I've been with her to each of the visits and watched her have those things done and that is part of her contribution to science," Dr. Holland said.

They are no longer enrolling children in the study.

Duke is hoping to participate in the next phase of the study for children under 11 years old. It could begin as early as this spring.
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