Oklahoma City-based The Lynn Institute has already been engaged by Moderna as a COVID-19 vaccine trial site location that’s supporting the mRNA-based MRNA-1273 study on teens aged 13 to 17 in addition to studies with both Pfizer (BNT162b2) and Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine. While the current Moderna vaccine is available to adults 18 and older, now a study starting in July tests the vaccine on children aged 2 to 12.
Lots of Participation
Parents are concerned about their kids becoming infected with SARS-Cov-2, the virus behind COVID-19. There is no authorized treatment for early onset, asymptomatic or mild to moderate COVID-19, representing 90% of the cases. Carlos Blanco, CEO of Lynn Institute, recently shared with local media FOX23 News that lots of parents from all over the State of Oklahoma are bringing their kids into the study as there are no approved vaccines to be used for children under age 15 and younger as they naturally seek protection from school transmission. Currently, Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine can be used by teens 16 and 17 but not younger.
The realization that the UK variant can impact young children spoked parents and school districts around the nation. As CEO Blanco noted recently, parents “…are concerned, and they want something to help protect their kids.”
Fox23 News recently reported on this new study involving trial sites in all 50 states. Oklahoma’s only trial site, The Lynn Institute, will only use its headquarters in Oklahoma City. The Phase 2/3 study (NCT04796896) seeks to evaluate up to 3 dose levels of the vaccine given to healthy children in 2 doses 28 days apart.
According to Blanco, participating children, pending parental consent and approval of course, are administered a smaller dose than what adults actually receive declaring on the local media entry, “Moderna has calculated out how much is needed based on age and weight and things like that.”
Participant families are compensated for time and travel and once the study vaccination is complete, the children are given a journal to track how they are doing.
What about Side Effects?
The Lynn Institute CEO shares that its possible that some children may feel some symptoms, which are temporary as the immune system adjusts and learns how to respond to the vaccine. The typical side effects are treatable with over the counter medicine. The CEO went on the record, “I’ve explained it to people who ask me about it this way, having a child with a sore arm or an eight-hour cold is far better than seeing them struggling to breathe and barely alive on a ventilator in a hospital.”
Minority Community Strategy
The vaccination of children has become a strategy to reach into the parents and parental figures in minority communities. Hit extra hard by the pandemic, these communities often are resistant to participating in any sort of mass vaccination campaign. But if children get involved, Blanco suggested health officials “can make inroads to get the parents vaccinated” and in the process, hopefully see communities more at risk approach herd immunity.
The Lynn Health & Science Institute
The Lynn Health & Science Institute has long been considered an innovative leader in the area of clinical trials and comprehensive medical research studies. Launched in 1997, they have facilities in Oklahoma City and Norman, Oklahoma, as well as other locations such as Colorado Springs, Denver and Little Rock, Arkansas. They opened up two new locations in Oklahoma recently in Stillwater and Tulsa.
They have emerged as a front-runner among trial site centers, having conducted over 800 clinical trials while working with over 250 pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs).
Call to Action: For those in Oklahoma interested in this study sponsored by Moderna, follow up with The Lynn Institute here.