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Breaking down the Novavax vaccine trial for children

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison spoke to the doctor helping to conduct the trial about what exactly the Novavax vaccine is and what it means for children.

SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Last week, we told you about Holden Mills, age 13, from Susquehanna County, one of 3,000 children who chose to participate in a clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine called Novavax. Holden was prescreened for the trial at  Meridian Clinical Research in Binghamton, New York, one of 75 sites across the country.

Dr. Frank Eder is monitoring patients during the trial. Dr. Eder says while some may think it is controversial to test a new vaccine on children, it's important to know this trial has already passed the safety portion.

"We do take more care in children anytime we're studying anything to make sure that we're understanding the effects on pediatric biology," Dr. Eder said.

As children went back to school and adults have been vaccinated, it makes children under 17 the next best target for the virus. Getting a vaccine approved for kids will help with herd immunity to lessen that spread, and so far, the effectiveness of this vaccine is looking good.

"It's showing that it's very effective In producing, not only short-term but probably long-term immunity, and how it works with antibodies versus what's called a T-cell response."

Dr. Eder says it's best that children are part in the decision making if they want to participate in the clinical trial that takes place over the course of two years, but there's good news for all participants.

"After probably six months, everybody who got placebo will then get the real vaccine, but they need to do that to compare placebo versus the real vaccine as far as side effects and how people respond to the vaccine."

The trial is still accepting volunteers of healthy kids between 12 and 17 years old.

If you or your child is interested, you can visit https://www.mcrmed.com/locations/binghamton-new-york/#sign-up  to begin the prescreening process.