COVID-19: Children’s vaccine trial in Jacksonville to start next week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Local children could play a pivotal role in helping get a COVID-19 vaccine for kids on the market.

The Novavax vaccine clinical trial, focused on kids, will kick off in Jacksonville next week.

Novavax chose the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research on University Boulevard as of one of its sites.

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Enrollment opens Monday.

Volunteers between the ages of 12 and 17 are needed for the study.

Participants will be compensated.

Dr. Michael Koren, the Director of Research at the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research, said the younger population is still rapidly spreading the virus.

”We’ve done a good job here in the state of Florida getting our older people vaccinated,” Koren said. “Now we’ve got to do the same for the younger people.”

Dr. Koren said the trial can enroll several hundred children if the demand is there.

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It’s a blinded study with a two-thirds chance of getting an active vaccine immediately. The rest will get placebos. Eventually, those who receive the placebo will get the vaccine.

For parents who might be worried, Dr. Koren said his message to parents is that the Novavax vaccine has been tested on tens of thousands of people worldwide.

He also said children who participate in the study will be medically monitored for a year or two after the trial.

The Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research has also been involved in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine clinical trials. To sign up, call 904-730-0166 or click here.