‘I was just ready to get it’: Amarillo 7th grader begins COVID-19 vaccine adolescent trial

VIDEO: ‘I was just ready to get it’: Amarillo 7th grader begins COVID-19 vaccine adolescent trial

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Across the country, 12 through 17-year old’s have begun receiving the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as part of the adolescent clinical trials.

Among the 3,000 enrolled in the year-long trial for the Moderna vaccine, is local 7th grader, Wyatt Barnett.

As a 12-year-old, Barnett barely made the cut to enroll.

He says the idea was first brought up by his parents and after some research and the green light from his pediatrician, he thought, ‘Well if he’s eventually going to get it, why not do it now?’

He was approved and assigned to the trial group at the Lynn institute in Oklahoma City. He and his family made the trip to the institute last week when he received the first of two doses.

For this trial there is a 66 percent chance Barnett was given the actual dose instead of the placebo.

“I hope I got the vaccine and that way I can just be immunized for as long as they say it is,” said Barnett.

As part of the trial, he checks his temperature and fills out an online questionnaire daily. So far, no fever or other symptoms.

Barnett says he likes having this responsibility and just wants to get back to some form of normality.

“I was just ready to get it; I am tired of having to stay home and getting sick and people dying and getting sick from all of this. I want to see my grandparents again you know, that would be nice,” said Barnett.

Not only does he miss his grandparents, he is ready to get back on the field playing football and baseball without worrying about getting infected.

The trial will end in June of next year, but similar to the ongoing adult trials, it is expected to have emergency authorization sooner.

“The public should expect that Moderna as soon as they get enough data, within probably two months, will file an amendment to their EUA to try to extend that EUA all the way down to 12 year old’s,” said Carlos Blanco, CEO and president of the Lynn Health Science Institute.

He says they have no reason to believe it will not work, but the main priority is to make sure the vaccine is as safe and effective for this age group as it is for adults.

Barnett expects to receive his second dose sometime this spring and health experts believe data to file for the authorization for this age group will be available in the fall.

If approved, they expect to open the clinical trial for those ages two through 11 next.

Copyright 2021 KFDA. All rights reserved.