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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial open to kids and teens in Houston

Houston is one of 20 cities across the U.S. where kids 12 to 17 years old are able to take part in the vaccine trial.

HOUSTON — As vaccines roll out across the country, Moderna's vaccine trials now expanding to teens and Houston will play a pivotal role.

"We're one of 20 sites in the whole U.S. which is amazing," said Dr. Sarah Hasan, a researcher with DM Clinical Research. 

Just last week, the Houston Fights COVID Movement together with the Cy-Fair Clinical Research Center began vaccinating kids and teens for Moderna. 

"Right now we're in the hundreds and looking to be in the thousands," said Hasan. "We're looking for teenagers between 12 and 17 to be part of this initiative."

There's no cap on how many can participate. 

"We're looking for kids, generally healthy, able to take vaccinations and able to come in for the study visits" said Hasan. 

Parents have a lot of questions about possible side effects, but so do teens. 

"Teenagers themselves have a lot of questions," said Hasan. "Everyone knows about COVID-19 so that scare factor is there."

Hasan says the trial is safe and effective especially after months of studying the vaccine in adults. The children will be monitored for 13 months and need to return for 6 follow up visits. She says it's one of the quickest ways for teens and kids to get vaccine protection. 

"Being a part of the study gives kids a chance to get protection sooner rather than later," said Hasan. "They have a 2 in 1 chance to get vaccine over the placebo. If these kids are out there getting the vaccine at least they're getting the protection and able to go back to school faster and safer as well."

If you're interested in signing up, you can do so at HoustonFightsCOVID.com. Participating teens will receive up to $1,000 for participating.