Georgia teen participates in COVID-19 vaccine trial

A metro Atlanta area teenager is volunteering in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.

Elijah Roth said he had no hesitation when his mother brought up the idea of taking part in the trial.

"It's really incredible to be a part of it and to be a part of medical history," said the 15-year-old.

He is now one of several thousand teenagers taking part in the trial. He received either the vaccine or the placebo on Tuesday.

Right now, the vaccine is only administered to those 18 and up.

"75 million of these 300 million vaccines that our goal is to get out are children. So the biggest thing we can do right now is take the vaccine, help out as much as we can with the research and help this process move along as quickly and efficiently as possible," Elijah said.

Elijah said he saw firsthand the devastating effects the virus had on his friend.

"He was perfectly healthy and then after that, he ended up having to go through months of physical therapy. We were unsure of what was going to happen to him. it was really scary."

He said he's glad his participation in the trial can help prevent other teens from getting sick.

According to the American Association of Pediatrics, at least 2.3 million children have tested positive for COVID 19 since the start of the pandemic.

Experts believe most children have mild to no symptoms but they could be the ones to pass it along to more vulnerable people.

"I've been doing pediatrics for almost 40 years. If this virus isn't spread from children to adults, it will be the first virus I've seen where kids aren't spreaders," said Dr. Robert W. Frenck, the Director of the Vaccine Research Center at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Elijah is temporarily keeping a log of any symptoms from the shot and will be checking in with the medical team periodically.

He said he hopes others consider volunteering and that they get the vaccine when the time comes.

"If you want to go out and see your friends if you want to go to baseball games, football games, if you want to hang out in restaurants, or whatever you want to do. We really need to get through this as quickly and well as possible," Elijah said.

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