In the small city of Boise, Idaho, USA, two teenage sisters are making big things happen as they participate in the second phase of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial. And this is no small commitment, with the trial requiring 13 months of logging symptoms as well as having phone calls, regular visits, and blood draws. The willingness of these two girls to participate in a vaccine trial, to go above and beyond in playing their part to beat COVID-19, is something we can all take into account as we collectively battle this pandemic as a nation and planet.
Megan Egbert, the mother of Lulu Dahlquist-Egbert and Evan Dahlquist-Egbert, said her children made the decision themselves to take part in this vaccine trial. It was reported by KTVB7 that, “Egbert heard about the trial from her doctor. She talked with her daughters about joining the trial and they decided to go for it.”
Their Commentary and Participation
12-year-old Lulu and 14-year-old Evan have had to put their lives on hold during the pandemic, including school, sports and their social lives. “When everything got shut down, the opportunities to play sports were cut down by a lot and postponed,” Evan said.
“If us helping to figure out if this vaccine will work can speed up the process, then yeah,” Lulu said. Lulu also states the two of them haven’t been many places since the pandemic started. “We haven’t really been anywhere in public that’s inside other than the grocery store or something in a long time,” she said.
The two girls are scheduled to get their first shot of the trial vaccine on Friday, Jan. 22. They’re not sure if they will be receiving the placebo or the real vaccine.
“I think they’re always going to remember this that they’re two of 3,000 very brave adolescents in the United States who are making this sacrifice so things can be safer for everyone,” Egbert said.
Is this safe for their age group?
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set age restrictions on both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Moderna vaccine is only recommended for people over the age of 18, but it is not clear what effects the vaccine could have on younger people.
“The thing is kids are very different than adults,” Dr. David Pate, retired CEO of St. Luke’s said. They react differently and they have different risks than adults do.”
This data is needed to guarantee the vaccine is safe and effective for children. He also said it’s important that teens get vaccinated to help the state move forward.
Call to Action: Reportedly, the clinical trial is having a hard time getting enough teenagers signed up for it. Moderna is looking for 3,000 teens to take part.